Syria Suffers as the US and Russia Disagree

Syria Suffers as the US and Russia Disagree



The U.S. disagreed with Russia on their nuclear deal during the Sept. 5, 2016, G20 summit. As a result, Syria was suffering from bombings and the lack of aid. The U.S. and Russia then agreed to continue talks.

Syria keeps about 1,000 tons of chemical weapons, said a U.S. official. He pointed out it was important to remember the blister agent, sulfur mustard, and sarin nerve agent that make up this inventory.

The U.S., supported by the U.K. and France, constructed a framework deal. By this, Syria would have had to discard its chemical weapons and then allow chemical weapons experts unlimited access to them. Initially, Russia complied to the framework.

Chapter seven of the U.N. Charter would allow the use of military force if Syria did not comply. This is called the first resolution. A second resolution would then be needed to authorize the first if there was any non-compliance. The U.S. and Russia must agree before this would happen.

The War in Syria

The Turkish and Free Syrian Army pushed ISIS out of twenty villages. These villages, which are crucial for ISIS communication, lie on Syria’s border, reported CNN. The Turkish army and Syrian Kurds now have a standoff at the border. This is because the Kurds cannot gain any other areas.

The Syrian Army had made some headway at Aleppo about three weeks ago, though the Islamist rebel groups erased the progress achieved, reported CNN. A former al Qaeda acquaintance, Jabhat Fate al-Sham, led them. The rebels had broken through and reached the besieged city parts. Syria’s army assumed power with Russian airstrikes and the Hezbollah militia’s help.

John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State and Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, have been working on the agreement for three months, according to CNN. However, at the G20 summit in China, the U.S. and Russia reached an impasse.

Obama caused this discord when he made comments about the differences between U.S. and Russia. He mentioned that the conflict in Syria and that the countries have different ways of handling issues.

“Despite everything, we have some alignment of positions and an understanding of what we could do to de-escalate the situation in Syria,” Vladimir Putin stated at a press conference.

Russia and Iran have poured a large amount of effort into keeping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power. Whereas, the U.S. stance is that al-Assad must leave before any problems can be solved.

Obama approved Kerry’s travel to Moscow in mid-July with the intent to settle these issues with Russia. The Secretary of State then offered Russia help, said The Washington Post. The U.S. would help bomb terrorist targets and even share information with Russia. The offer was made on the condition that Russia would stop blasting U.S.-backed forces and decommission the Syrian army.

Lavrov then spoke about people thinking the opposition and terrorist groups were the same. He explained what Russians want from Americans: “A real, genuine demarcation between terrorists and so-called opposition.”

Russia and the U.S. continued to disagree as Syria was suffering. It seems that the resolution between the two countries will require further discussion.

The result of the discord is that bombs still explode in Syria, especially in Aleppo. Their government has cut off the northern path from Aleppo to Turkey. The United Nations estimated that nearly 2 million lack food, water, and medical care.

Aimen Dean is a former al Qaeda jihadist, but he now works for British intelligence. He lost two relatives who fought for rebel groups.

He quoted an Arab proverb, “I did not fast this long only to break my fast with an onion.” This infers that only Assad’s departure will lessen some of the sufferings.

The U.S. and Russia agreed to continue negotiations. On September 15, bombs killed 38 and the Islamic State group claimed one, said Syrian Arab News Agency. Each day passes and as the U.S. and Russia continue to disagree, and Syria suffers.

By Osveen Funwi
Edited by Cathy Milne


The New York Times: The Latest: Russia Urges US to Help Stop Syria Rebel Attacks
CNN: ABC: Syria truce talks between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin fail as Islamic State blasts kill dozens
The Washington Post: U.S. still trying for a Syria cease-fire deal with Russia
BBC: Q&A: Syria chemical weapons disarmament deal

Image Courtesy of G20 Summit Meeting’s Flickr Page – Public Domain License