Syria Daily: Kerry and Lavrov Renew Talks on US Plan for Cooperation

PHOTO: US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at their Tuesday meeting in Laos



Analysis: Jabhat al-Nusra’s Separation from Al-Qa’eda?

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov renewed talks on Tuesday about an American plan for US-Russian military cooperation inside Syria.

The two men met on the sidelines of a meeting of Southeast Asian nations in Laos, 11 days after they spent eight hours in Moscow on the US plan — endorsed by President Obama — for intelligence sharing and cooperation on airstrikes against the Islamic State and the jihadists of Jabhat al-Nusra.

Lavrov said of the US plan for a command-and-control center, “We discussed what needs to be done in order for this agreement to start working in practice in the form of activities of Russian Aerospace Defense Forces and US forces, as well as US-led coalition.”

Then the Foreign Secretary continued Moscow’s pressure for measures not only against the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, but also rebel factions:

Agreements were made on practical steps that should be made to effectively fight against terrorists, to prevent the situation when so-called moderate opposition remains on terrorist-controlled territories and wants to participate in the ceasefire regime and at the same time wants to ensure that this regime does not inflict any damage on Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra.

The US has assured from the beginning of the year that they will be able to disengage between the opposition with which they cooperate and terrorist structures. However, they have not managed to do this so far.

Obama and Kerry say the US proposal will include Russian pressure on the Assad regime to halt its bombing of rebels and opposition areas, and to persuade President Assad to return to talks for a resolution of Syria’s 5 1/2-year conflict.

However, critics — including officials within the Obama Administration — say the Russians have not abided by any agreements since they began thousands of airstrikes last September, destroying infrastructure with the documented killing of 2,141 civilians. They note that the Assad regime effectively collapsed the Geneva political process, brokered by the US and Russia, in April with continued bombing and sieges and with President Assad’s refusal of a transitional governing authority.

Since Kerry’s meetings in Moscow on July 14-15 with Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin, Russian and Syrian airstrikes in the past week have killed hundreds of civilians. Last weekend, five field hospitals and a blood bank were damaged or destroyed by the attacks.

See Syria Daily, July 25: The Russia-Regime War on the Hospitals

Lavrov preferred to shift blame onto the opposition and rebels on Tuesday, effectively trying to rule them out of any renewed political talks:

The so-called High Negotiations Committee has a non-constructive position. They do not propose anything, put forward ultimata that will lead to nothing good — [ultimata] about necessity of Assad’s resignation — and then they say we’ll see what to do with political process. This is an absolutely dead-end position.

Video: Rescuers Brave Shrapnel to Save Wounded Child

Rescuers in Aleppo city suffer a large shrapnel hit to their car, but press on to save a child’s life:

UN Calls Again for Temporary Ceasefires in Aleppo

The UN has again called for temporary ceasefires in Aleppo, to allow aid to reach people in opposition-held areas threatened by a pro-Assad siege north of the city.

The UN’s head of humanitarian operations, Stephen O’Brien, told the Security Council on Monday of the need for the 48-hour truces:

I cannot stress enough how critical the situation is for those trapped in eastern Aleppo city.

This population is at serious risk of besiegement, as the fighting closes in and their access to basic necessities runs out.

Almost three weeks ago, the Syrian military and allied foreign militia — enabled by Russian airstrikes — established fire control over the al-Castello Road, the last route into the opposition districts.

Rebels have closed the road to all traffic because of the threat of shelling.

Activists say up to 400,000 people are threatened in eastern Aleppo city. Local officials and residents say prices for food and essential goods have doubled and even trebled.

“The international community simply cannot let eastern Aleppo city become yet another — and by far the largest — besieged area,” O’Brien said. “The clock is ticking.”

Conflicting Reports Over Car Bomb in Damascus

There are conflicting reports over an explosion in Kafrsouseh in central Damascus on Monday night.

A pro-regime site acknowledges a car bomb with about 150 kg (330 pounds) of explosive, but says that only two people were injured and no one was killed.

A “military source” said the target was a high-ranking officer working in State security.

However, pro-opposition outlets said the bomb, near an Iranian school, was targeting a dispatch center for Iranian forces. They say that ambulances rushed to the location, although claims on social media of 10 Iranians and Hezbollah killed and 60 injured were not accurate.

The outlets say that an Iranian officer in the intelligence branch was a casualty.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.


  1. I wouldn’t give it much credit. What Kerry does/says depends on what Erdgoan does.
    Putin, Assad, Iran and Hezbollah are truly taking on the terrorists.

    The leaks were clearly state sponsored by Russia, Their timing was clearly intended to divide Democrats.
    Trump may or may not be colluding directly with Putin (remains to be seen) but of one thing there is no doubt–He’s the intended beneficiary and is trying to exploit the leaks. There’s no doubt he supports what Putin most wants–the elimination of NATO and the EU and the Russian invasion of the Crimea and Ukraine. Removing those obstacles would enable Putin to complete his attempted takeover of the Ukraine and move to take over the others with no fear a President Trump would react. Finally it would allow him to play one western or eastern European country against another–a strategy Putin has always loved.
    Trump has openly financed right-wing nationalist parties in Europe and is moving indirectly to assist Trump. He has already provided loans used to finance Trump’s primary campaign. The latter could not get financing from western banks due to his past exploitation of bankruptcy laws so he had to turn to Russia. His top advisors are so close to Putin he may as well have hand-picked them personally.
    Ironically, the leaks could actually help Hillary, if the Dems can unite most of the party. Russia’s role in it could help there. Also, many Republicans and independents who deeply mistrust Putin and who give a damn about national security are more likely to avoid voting for Trump. Some will vote for Hillary and others will leave the top spot blank.

  3. Ambassador Delattre ….La France à l’ONU ‏@franceonu Jul 25
    #Syria : the cessation of hostilities’ agreement was a smokescreen for the Syrian regime and its allies to cover their military strategy
    La France à l’ONU ‏@franceonu Jul 25
    #Aleppo is a martyr city. 20 years after Sarajevo, the Council cannot accept such war crimes to repeat again. #Syria
    #AleppoUnderSiege : no political cooperation is possible as long as the crimes against Aleppo continue
    #Syria : no sustainable political solution nor any efficient anti-terrorism fight as long as civilians are attacked #AleppoUnderSiege But Obama did a great agreement with Russia-it is secret till September

  4. Why I’m Resigning My Position As A Republican Committeeman

    The Iraq War, the financial meltdown, the utter failure of supply-side theory, climate denial, and our strange pursuit of theocratic legislation have all been troubling. Yet it seemed that America’s party of commerce, trade, and pragmatism might still have time to sober up. Remaining engaged in the party implied a contribution to that renaissance, an investment in hope. Donald Trump has put an end to that hope.
    From his fairy-tale wall to his schoolyard bullying and his flirtation with violent racists, Donald Trump offers America a singular narrative: a tale of cowards. Fearful people, convinced of our inadequacy, trembling before a world alight with imaginary threats, crave a demagogue. Neither party has ever elevated to this level a more toxic figure, one that calls forth the darkest elements of our national character…
    I will not contribute my name, my work or my character to an utterly indefensible cause. No sensible adult demands moral purity from a political party, but conscience is meaningless without constraints. A party willing to lend its collective capital to Donald Trump has entered a compromise beyond any credible threshold of legitimacy. There is no redemption in being one of the “good Nazzis.”

    • Wake up call…………. Russia didn’t hack any DNC emails. But, it makes good theater.

      That dastardly Putin! He’s ready to invade Alaska and all of Europe.
      Biggest Nostrovia!!!!!!

      • Tickety tock until Trump the clown is swept up by Hilary and your back here pouting that you didn’t support him and you don’t care anyway because Hilary is not gonna do anything in Syria for fear of upsetting might mother Putin..
        keepem coming Mr.TickTock.. its all about timing..

        • Rickety toc,

          Aleppo is completely sealed off and the rebels are on the verge of collapse. Obama and Putin have decided they want to wrap this thing up before Killary gets the keys to the White House.

          Killary isn’t going to be able to do a thing about it.

  5. “Lavrov said of the US plan for a command-and-control center, “We discussed what needs to be done in order for this agreement to start working in practice in the form of activities of Russian Aerospace Defense Forces and US forces, as well as US-led coalition”

    ¿After this statement how on earth can the brainwashed anti-imperialists still claim that the U.S and Russia are enemies?. Brothers in Arms.

    Remember WW2 soviet propaganda. While receiving huge material and military support from them Stalin was simultaneously claiming that the U.S were allied with the Nazis!

    • By the way, trough their respective puppets both brothers have managed to fill the region with their weapons.

      Thirst thing muslims should do: Get rid of the two-headed snake!!

      • First is to let the shiite and sunni jihadis finish each other off. Stability will be optimal in the future if ISIS and JAN fight Hazbollah, NDF, Hashd Shaaby forces and IRGC until the both decimate each other. Iraq and Syria are pretty much worthless uninhabitable places that need 50 years worth of reconstruction. The rest of, and the majority of, the middle east is fine and just needs continuing growth and increased stability post Arab spring.

        The GCC is going through a big change this decade with Doha building for World Cup 2022, Dubai for the 2020 expo, GCC for the MBS economic reconstruction, and Egypt with elections in 1.5 years and building of the suez port city along the 2014 new expansion. Lastly, aside from Libya, all North African countries from Tunis to Morocco have reached relative stability post arab spring. So all is not terrible, the sky is not falling. Fighting the two headed snake as you put it means cleaning house first, which may be what is happening now, sadly at the cost of millions of syrians and iraqis. Iran will pay after when its sphere of influence is reduced and someone is called to answer for the wasted lives and money. i.e. Khomeini clan

      • LOL, IS propaganda is truly #1 — delicious to watch how they so expertly humiliate the incompetent Yanki dogs after having casually crushed their ‘trained’* whelps in the desert — ’twill make a gnarly food for thought for any other aspiring Sahawat Boy-Band in Syria, who should wisely bear in mind that even if IS doesn’t get them as graphically illustrated, JaN will always be there to do the honours …
        No wonder DroneBoy Obomber is screeching at YouTube to have all such exposure censored!
        [* to cake their togs at any hint of opposition]


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