Posted by on December 15, 2016 2:55 pm
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Categories: aleppo Assad family Assad government Bashar al-Assad Economy Foreign involvement in the Syrian Civil War Foreign relations of Syria International reactions to the Syrian Civil War Middle East Military history by country Mohammed Akkad Obama Administration Politics Politics of Syria Syrian Civil War Twitter US State Department

The battle for Aleppo is over, and Assad has won, with AP quoting the Syrian leader that “history is being made with the defeat” of the insurgents contained in the city.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday the events taking place in the city of Aleppo are a historic moment, and said the world will be different after what he called the “liberation of Aleppo”.

“What is happening today is the writing of a history written by every Syrian citizen. The writing did not start today, it started six years ago when the crisis and war started against Syria,” Assad said in a video statement published on the Syrian Presidency’s Twitter account.

And while Syria and Russia enjoy the spoils from his biggest victory since the start of the Syrian conflict, the US State Department is being slammed for losing the Syrian proxy war. Meanwhile, after three years of backing and arming rebels brought no major progress in the Syrian war, Washington has accused Moscow of “failure” to achieve peace. Yesterday, the State Department was finally called out by AP on the lack of progress in Syria, forcing department spokespersons John Kirby to once again blame Russia.

As caught on the recording below, the daily briefing at the State Department started off with a verbal sparring match between AP reporter Brad Klapper and department spokesman John Kirby. Klapper asked Kirby why the US was “laying all the blame” for developments in Aleppo on Russia, while also questioning what Washington was doing different than Moscow. The US, Klapper said, “failed repeatedly, doing the same thing over and over again” but continued to accuse Russia of war crimes “when things go badly.”

“You [the US] haven’t succeeded once,” Klapper said.

Kirby did not answer the latter of Klapper’s questions, instead offering his explanation of why Russia bears responsibility. “The failure is on Russia for not putting the proper pressure on the Assad regime to stop the brutality, the gassing, the surrender, the starvation of their own people. That’s the real failure here,” Kirby said, claiming that the US, unlike Russia, has been pursuing only political solutions.

“You don’t think the US has failed?” the reporter continued to press on.

Refusing to take any blame for America’s actions, Kirby continued to dodge the question.

“You talked about the United States failure. What I would say is the international community has remained focused on trying to bring about a better outcome in Syria,” he said, stressing that the US “is a leader in that effort.”

Then several minutes into the exchange, Kirby would not admit the possibility of the US approach as it is failing to achieve a peaceful solution despite years of attempts.

“Secretary [of State John Kerry] would be the first to tell you that he’s enormously frustrated that we are still where we are with respect to what’s going on the ground in Syria. Nobody’s happy about that,” he said, praising Washington’s efforts on the diplomatic front.

After his response did not seem to satisfy Klapper, Kirby commented: “Look, you can shake your head in disgust about the answer all you want.”

Showing a sense of humor, Klapper argued that it was “too late” for any changes to be made given that the Obama administration and Secretary John Kerry’s tenures are coming to an end in just over a month.  “You’re not describing any different kind of approach or anything you’re going to do to somehow change the equation,” he said. “It’s too late for that. You have no time left and you’re saying you’re not going to telegraph something that we know is not going to happen.”

However, according to Kirby, despite what Klapper or the AP might “feel,” Secretary Kerry remains eager to try to find a political solution to the conflict.

Meanwhile, having taken over Aleppo, the Syrian proxy war is now in its final stages, with the Assad government, thanks to Russian backing, now assured a victory, especially since Trump has repeatedly stated that he is looking forward to de-escalating the middle east conflict, and no longer is looking to “change heads of state”, a development which will infuriate Qatar, whose gas pipeline to Europe appears doomed to never be constructed.

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