News ID: 210023
Published: 0718 GMT February 14, 2018

US pushes on Russia to use its leverage on Syria

US pushes on Russia to use its leverage on Syria

The United States has urged Russia to use its leverage over Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to end the conflict as the UN envoy warned of a "worrying and dangerous" moment in the nearly seven-year bloodshed.

“Russia can push the regime to commit to seeking a real peace in Syria,” US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley told a Security Council meeting on Wednesday regarding the worsening crisis in Syria.

Moscow and Washington support opposing sides in the Syrian conflict. Russia assists the Syrian government and has been carrying out an aerial bombardment campaign against terrorist positions in Syria.

“Now is the time for Russia to use that leverage,” she said, to “push the Assad regime to do what it plainly does not want to do.”

The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.

The strikes, however, have on many occasions resulted in civilian casualties and failed to fulfill their declared aim of countering terrorism.

The US has around 2,000 military personnel in northern Syria supporting the SDF, which is an alliance of militias in northern and eastern Syria and largely dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Following a confrontation between Israel and Iran, clashes involving US-led coalition forces and fighting escalating in many parts of the country, UN envoy Staffan de Mistura called for de-escalation.

"This is as violent and worrying and dangerous a moment as any that I have seen in my time as special envoy," said De Mistura, who has been the peace mediator since 2014.

The US-led coalition has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of destroying Daesh.

Russia, Iran, and Turkey have been organizing peace talks for Syria in the Kazakh capital of Astana since January 2017. Together, the three countries have been acting as guarantor states for the peace process.

 

 

   
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