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Sunday, 19 June 2016

Moscow Warns Washington against Striking Syrian Army Forces

18-06-2016 | 10:16

The Kremlin has strongly warned Washington against striking Syrian government forces, saying it would fuel turmoil across the entire region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that an attempt to topple the Syrian government “wouldn’t help a successful fight against terrorism and could plunge the region into total chaos.”
Peskov made the statement while asked to comment about an internal document in which dozens of US State Department employees called for military action against the Syrian Army.
This comes as the US administration sought Friday to contain fallout from the leaked internal memo, but showed no sign it was willing to consider military strikes against the Syrian army.
Several US officials said that while the White House is prepared to hear the diplomats’ dissenting viewpoint, it is not expected to spur any changes in President Barack Obama’s approach to Syria in his final seven months in office.
One senior official said that the test for whether these proposals for more aggressive action are given high-level consideration will be whether they “fall in line with our contention that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria.”
The document was sent through the State Department’s “dissent channel,” a conduit for voicing contrary opinions meant to be classified.
White House spokeswoman Jen Friedman said Obama is open to a “robust discussion” on Syria but she insisted that deliberations by Obama’s national security team have already taken a very close look at a range of options.
A former senior US official said the unauthorized disclosure of a confidential cable of this type “corrodes the trust between the president and those who serve him.” Other US officials pointed out that the cable does not carry the signatures of any senior State Department officials, such as assistant or deputy secretaries or ambassadors.

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