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    A Syrian army soldier during an assault on Jabhat al-Nusra fighters in Aleepos eastern district of Suleiman al-Halabi

    US Strategy in Syria: 'If You Can't Stop a Problem, Expand It'

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    The so-called American 'Plan B' for settling the Syrian crisis suggests a military solution. It has been thought out by the US military institutions in secrecy from the White House, and is now being used to blackmail Russia, says Russia's Izvestiya newspaper citing a source in the diplomatic circles.

    "A 'Plan B' for Syria (as it was dubbed by the mass media) has been developed by US military institutions in case the US State Department's efforts failed. It suggests an intensification of US-led coalition airstrikes, a redeployment of additional Special Forces units, as well as the increase of arms deliveries to the so-called "moderate opposition," the diplomatic source told the newspaper.

    It also suggests toppling the government in Damascus with the help of the rebels. The US State Department has not been drawn into planning the alternative military strategy in Syria, the diplomatic source added. 

    'They Don't Want a Ceasefire': US Plan B is a Military Solution for Syria

    This "backup" plan is now on the agenda in the US, as the backers of the military solution to the Syrian crisis have been caught by surprise by the recent assault on the terrorists' positons in Aleppo, the outlet says.

    For them, the return by the government forces of full control over this city is unacceptable, hence the US military are searching for any means available to prevent it.

    The newspaper's informant also stressed that Russian representatives to the negotiations in Geneva have pointed out discrepancies between the US State Department and the country's military institutions. In particular, with regards to the agreement, set by the diplomats, to disclose the data on the locations of terrorist groups in Syria, where the Pentagon refused to provide such data to the Russian party.  

    Pentagon Decided to 'Test Russia's Strength' in Syria

    According to Franz Klintsevich, first deputy chairman of the defense and security committee in the upper house of Russia's parliament, the Americans are "testing Russia's strength" and could resort to military operations similar to its attack on the positions of the Syrian army at Deir ez-Zor.

    "I wouldn't have ruled out such a development. The US has already done similar things which posed a direct threat to Russia as well. They are apparently trying to achieve success on the battlefield through the terrorists, while coordinating their actions," the politician told the newspaper.

    There are different variants which could play out in Syria, he added. However no matter which one the US opts for, it will certainly be about testing Russia's strength. Nevertheless, he expressed hope that there are "no violent madmen" there and it will not escalate to a direct confrontation between Russian and American servicemen.

    'It was a Deliberate Effort to Sabotage and Cancel the Ceasefire'

    A similar point of view is being echoed by Brian Becker, national coordinator at the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition.

    "The most important thing is to understand why the US-Russia brokered ceasefire collapsed, and why there will be no ongoing effort internationally to find a peaceful resolution to the Syrian crisis," he said in an interview the Iranian news network Press TV.

    "The fact is that the Pentagon, the Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and the top uniformed officers in the Pentagon opposed the ceasefire. They openly opposed it. This is not simply speculation, they have openly opposed it in the US media," he said.

    The expert explained that President Obama gave the go-ahead to John Kerry's effort to find a resolution with the Russians. However the Pentagon then announced their opposition to the deal. Not long after, the US Air Force bombed the Syrian Arab Army, he said.

    Not al-Qaeda, not al-Nusra, not the Army of Congress, not Daesh, it was the US which bombed the Syrian Arab Army killing 62 people, he stressed.

    "It was a deliberate effort to sabotage and cancel the ceasefire. They got what they wanted. They don't want a ceasefire," he stated.

    'This is a War of Words'

    Becker also commented on Washington's warmongering rhetoric.

    “Extremist groups will continue to exploit the vacuums that are there in Syria to expand their operations, which could include attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities. Russia will continue to send troops home in body bags, and will continue to lose resources, perhaps even aircraft,” John Kirby, the State Department's spokesperson, threatened on Wednesday during his press briefing.

    "These are direct threats against Russia. The Russian government perceived it as that. They perceived it as escalation by the Pentagon and the State Department canceling the resolution in Syria, but also directly militarily threatening Russia," Becke told Press TV.

    "If Russia had ever talked like that about the US, that Americans would be coming back in body bags or American cities would be now attacked if America continued its foreign policy, the US would have considered it to be a virtual act of war," he said.

    "But that is what Washington is saying right now about Russia," he questioned.

    "This is a war of words. Why is it happening? I think it is a precursor to a bigger confrontation," he suggested.

    Referring to Kirby's remarks, Russia's Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday that such a statement is a "frank confession" that the US controls terrorists in Syria.

    “His words are the most frank confession by the US side so far [that] the whole ‘opposition’ ostensibly fighting a civil war in Syria is a US-controlled international terrorist alliance,” Konashenkov then said.

    The Russian spokesman also said that he is certain that Kirby is well aware of the “after-effects” of his statement.

    “What makes Kirby’s statement particularly shocking is that the scale of direct US influence on terrorists’ activity is global. That it reaches as far as Russia,” Konashenkov said.

    Konashenkov however warned that “should there follow any attempts to act on the threats towards Russia and Russian military servicemen in Syria, the militants may find themselves short of both body bags and the time to get away.”

    Brian Becker however noted that there is no hope right now for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, because the US foreign policy position is to sabotage the peace agreement, peace talks and peace efforts.

    "Obama is leaving, his likely successor is Hillary Clinton, who openly called for an escalation and expansion of the war. She has all the neo-conservatives with her. I believe that there is going to be a wider US military intervention in Syria," he suggested.

    "They have adopted the old Donald Rumsfeld's thesis that if you can't stop a problem, expand it. I think what the US is preparing to do, its real plan is to expand the war in Syria," he said.

    "Because they really, ultimately want Assad to go. That is still their ultimate objective and it explains why they could never really come to terms with the Syrian government to carry out a concerted effort against the terrorists. And they couldn't do that either with the Russian government," he finally stated.


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