US foreign policy in Syria was meant to destabilize the region
These two clips of an interview with Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova from February 17th, 2016, give an excellent insight into the effects of both US and Russian foreign policies in Syria. On the program In the Now with host Anissa Naouai, Zakharova called out the failed US foreign policy in the Middle East.
She noted how for two years, the US had been involved in the conflict in Syria with an ever changing strategy, one that neither Russia nor the rest of the world could understand. During those two years, terrorist forces in Syria only grew larger and stronger, as did their supplies of arms and money. The only logical explanation to such a failed American policy in the region, according to Zakharova, is that the US is trying to destabilize the region.
Zakharova also brought up how many of the so-called “opposition” groups in Syria, armed by the US, have been switching to Al-Nusra or ISIS. “We have the UN security council list of terrorist organizations, but there might be a person on the ground who doesn’t have a permanent affiliation. Today he is part of ISIL, tomorrow he might be part of Al-Nusra, or he may become disillusioned with both and start his own group”
She made clear that, in accordance with international law, Russia only arms the official government. Any opposition groups that the Russian military worked with, was done in coordination with the Syrian government. It seems that Russia’s strategy has ultimately been the one that worked best. In a matter of months, rebels were brought to the negotiating table for a ceasefire, and on March 14th, 2016, Vladimir Putin announced much of Russia’s military in Syria will be coming home.
Another issue, of course, is the rhetoric coming from US officials claiming that Russia poses the “greatest threat to the United States.” This, as Maria Zakharova points out, has proven to be a complete lie put forward by American officials, as they have given absolutely no evidence to substantiate their claims.
“If the United States had at least some facts, if they had at least something, they would have presented it to the world a long time ago. But they have nothing that would look at least remotely like facts. All we’ve seen so far is a typical propaganda campaign that makes use of all the tools available to them: Government agencies, prominent newsmakers, major news organizations, they all form a kind of conglomerate…. They use international media as an orchestra, where every media organization has a role to play.”
Regarding Russian media, which has been harsh regarding American foreign policy, Maria Zakharova noted that Russian news outlets don’t take orders from the Russian government on what to say, and that the Russian government “does not share their extreme views.” Of course, she notes, what can one expect from Russian media, considering the extreme anti-Russian rhetoric coming from US officials? This is the media’s reaction when they hear such strong anti-Russian sentiment coming from the West.
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