Kerry Admits US Bombing of Syrian Army Ruined Russia-US Deal on Syrian Truce

© AFP 2022 / GEORGE OURFALIAN Syrian Army Repels Daesh Attack Near Deir ez-Zor Airbase
Syrian Army Repels Daesh Attack Near Deir ez-Zor Airbase - Sputnik International
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The US bombing of Syrian soldiers led Russia to believe that the United States was not serious about separating terrorists from the opposition as required by the cessation of hostilities, US Secretary of State John Kerry said at a conference at the US Institute for Peace on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The ceasefire deal brokered last September by Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov required the United States to facilitate the separation of the so-called moderate Syrian rebels from terror groups like al-Nusra Front.

"That ceasefire required a period of calm and five days into it, we accidentally bombed 70 Syrian troops and the Russians believed that we weren’t serious, that we were actually harboring Nusra [Front] that we weren’t willing to separate [them]. And then on the weekend the humanitarian truck got bombed and the thing fell apart."

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'Premeditated' US Airstrike on Syrian Army in Deir Ez-Zor Supports Daesh - Assad
Last September, US-led coalition aircraft carried out four strikes against the Syrian army near the Deir ez-Zor airport, leaving 62 soldiers killed and some 100 wounded. The Pentagon said that the airstrike was a mistake and was intended to target Daesh militants, while a number of Syrian officials stated that the attack was intentional.

Following the strike, Moscow insisted on an investigation into the incident. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stressed the importance of a probe to determine if the strike was an accident or a deliberate action in support of forces opposing Syrian President Bashar Assad.

On November 11, the Pentagon released a report which claimed that the US-led coalition's forces struck the Syrian army in Deir ez-Zor as a result of an "unintentional, regrettable error."

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