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    Pentagon ‘Silent’ Coup Undermines US-Russia Engagement on Syria

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    Senior US military officials secretly worked to sabotage efforts to cooperate with Russia on implementing a ceasefire in Syria, former White House National Security Council advisor Gwenyth Todd told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Friday, US Department of State spokesman Mark Toner told CNN the United States was close to cutting off engagement with Russia because of the Syrian government’s military operations in Aleppo.

    "What we have here is like a silent US military coup," Todd stated when asked why US-Russian cooperation on Syria fell apart.

    Anti-Russian hawks within the Defense Department, Todd claimed, undermined cooperation with Russia and prevented the US government from no longer insisting on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s departure.

    The United States, along with its ally Turkey and other countries, are openly supporting terrorists in a conflict that is killing and wounding innocent men, women and children in Syria, Todd said.

    "There is no viable solution other than to tell all [Syrian] armed rebels to lay down their arms or face all [US] support being cut off," Todd suggested.

    Arming any group whose aim is to topple President Bashar Assad, Todd argued, means dooming all peaceful civilians to being caught in the crossfire as the legitimate, if oppressive, government in Damascus fights to protect Syria’s existence as a nation.

    "We [the United States] could fix this tomorrow by letting Assad reestablish control and security, but instead we keep insisting on legitimizing the rebels," Todd maintained.

    The US defense community, Todd also suggested, has deep-rooted and genuine relationships with their Turkish counterparts and requesting them to abandon this alliance to cooperate with Russia was met with stiff resistance.

    On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed in phone conversations with US Secretary of State John Kerry that Moscow is ready for open dialogue with Washington on a settlement to the Syrian conflict.

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