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Sunday, 19 June 2016

U.S. diplomats call for "targeted military air strikes" against Assad's government

Comment: They are getting so desperate now...In the end they are going to bomb Assad and to hell with the consequences. 




More than fifty U.S. diplomats have circulated an internal memo to fellow Department of State employees, criticizing the administration’s policies in Syria and calling for air strikes against President Bashar al-Assad’s government forces.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the “dissent channel cable” was signed by fifty-one mid-to high-level State Department officials involved in advising on Syria policy. The document calls for “targeted military air strikes” against Assad’s government.

The document says that American policy has been “overwhelmed” by the unrelenting violence in Syria. It calls for “a judicious use of stand-off and air weapons, which would undergird and drive a more focused and hard-nosed U.S.-led diplomatic process.”

The New York Times reports that during the Vietnam War, the State Department set up the channel as a way for employees who had disagreements with policies to register their protest with the secretary of state and other top officials, without fear of reprisal. Dissent cables are not that unusual, but the number of signatures on this document, fifty-one, is large, if not unprecedented.

The dissent memo says that the Assad government’s continuing violations of the partial cease-fire, known as a cessation of hostilities, is dooming efforts to broker a political settlement because Assad feels no pressure to negotiate with the moderate opposition or other factions fighting him. The government’s barrel bombing of civilians, it said, is the “root cause of the instability that continues to grip Syria and the broader region.”

“The moral rationale for taking steps to end the deaths and suffering in Syria, after five years of brutal war, is evident and unquestionable,” the memo said. “The status quo in Syria will continue to present increasingly dire, if not disastrous, humanitarian, diplomatic and terrorism-related challenges.”

The memo notes that American air strikes against Assad regime targets will likely increase tensions with Russia, but says that these tensions are already rising because Russia, working on behalf of the Assad regime, is continuing its military operations against U.S.-backed Syrian rebel forces – the very forces with which Assad was supposed to negotiate.

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