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Kerry Blames Opposition for Collapse of Geneva Talks

Feb. 7, 2016 (EIRNS)—According to a report in Middle East Eye (MEE) that was posted yesterday, when cornered in private, Secretary of State John Kerry placed full blame on the Saudi-sponsored opposition delegation for the collapse, last week, of the peace talks in Geneva. The encounter reported by MEE occurred during a reception at the London donors’ conference where Kerry was confronted by two Syria aid workers (not identified) who complained that the U.S. wasn’t doing enough to protect Syrian civilians. "He said that basically, it was the opposition that didn’t want to negotiate and didn’t want a ceasefire, and they walked away," one of the aid workers said. Kerry is reported to have said: "What do you want me to do? Go to war with Russia? Is that what you want?" Both aid workers said Kerry told them that he anticipated three months of bombing during which time "the opposition will be decimated."

Kerry hinted at this in his public remarks at the State Department on Feb. 5 (while otherwise saying Obama’s line that the Syrian/Russian offensive had to end), saying that Russia and Iran both support a ceasefire but "as of this moment, we don’t have that full acknowledgment" from all the other parties at the table. He also said that the fighting will not stop "by walking away from the table or not engaging," referring to the fact that the Saudi-linked opposition forces walked out of the peace negotiations.

Another MEE source, claiming to have served as a back channel between Assad and the U.S. government, said Kerry had passed the message on to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in October that the U.S. did not want him to be removed. Instead, the source claims, Kerry insisted that Assad should stop using barrel bombs, which terrify civilian populations. The source claimed that Kerry said if Assad stopped the barrel bombs, Kerry could "sell the story" to the public, the source said. Assad reportedly responded to Kerry that, in exchange, the U.S. needed to "stop backing the rebels," the source said.

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