Iran Questions US Motives in Ceasefire while Russia Continues to Bomb Aleppo
March 1, 2016: It wasn’t but a mere 24 hours after the United States, Russia, Syria and Iran reached a ceasefire pact in Syria on February 27 before Russia defied those parameters and raided northern parts of Syria with airstrikes.
President Bashar al-Assad is quoted as saying the truce is a “glimmer of hope” and blames the opposition for disobeying the agreement. However, omitted in Assad’s posturing statement was the mention of Russia’s 25 airstrikes reported during the ceasefire.
With Iran backing the brutal Syrian regime and responsible for bringing Russia into the conflict in order to prop up Assad, the reliability of Syria’s allies adhering to the ceasefire was suspect from the outset. For the past month, Moscow has stepped up attacks on Syrian rebels and decimated civilians in Aleppo— even dropping cluster bombs on hospitals, schools and homes.
There is also no let up in the aggressive rhetoric coming out of Tehran. According to Tasnim News Agency hardliner and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Akbar Velayati stated yesterday, “Americans have no goodwill in advocating the truce in Syria…. They are seeking regime change in Syria, and the Syrian ceasefire is a pretext for changing the government of Bashar al-Assad.”