WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The internal memo, a draft of which was obtained by The New York Times from a US State Department official on Thursday, calls for "a judicious use of stand-off and air weapons," against Assad forces.
The State Department officials who have signed the letter have all been involved in Washington’s Syria policy over the last five years, according to The New York Times.
On February 27, a US-Russia brokered ceasefire came into force in Syria. Terrorist groups such as Islamic State (ISIL, also known as Daesh), as well as Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Nusra Front), both outlawed in Russia and a range of other states, are not part of the deal.
Russia recognizes Assad as the legitimate authority in Syria, stressing that the Syrian people should be free to choose their leadership without outside intervention. The United States and some of its allies have been supporting the so-called moderate Syrian opposition since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, urging Assad to resign.
In 2015, the Pentagon embarked on a failed $500 million mission to train and equip Syrian rebels. The failure of the 2015 program led the Pentagon to loosen requirements for Syrian rebels, opening the pool of recruits to leaders of armed groups that have sought to overthrow the Assad government.