Update: Syrian cease-fire expires as US and Russia trade insults

Aleppo, before and after the war started. Image courtesy of BoredPanda.com.

Previous articles on this topic:

Obama and Putin Fail to Come to Compromise for Cease-Fire Agreement in Syria

Update: Wow, that was fast – US and Russia reach an agreement on Syrian cease-fire

Syrian Cease-Fire Update: UN Unable to Send Humanitarian Aide, Russia and US Accuse Each Other of Violations

So during the weekend, the US apparently accidentally bombed government forces in the Syrian city of Deir Ezzor, killing more than 90 troops, and Russia was not happy.

“[These actions] fall between criminal negligence and direct pandering to Islamic State terrorists,” Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

The US had apologized for the bombing, but it wasn’t good enough, apparently. So then both countries held a closed-door UN security council emergency session to talk about the accidental bombing, but both countries ended up leaving in a huff.

The US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Powers, had some strong words for Russia after the meeting.

“Even by Russia’s standards, tonight’s stunt, replete with moralism and grandstanding, is uniquely typical and hypocritical.” She said.

One of the key parts of the deal, which was to allow UN-backed humanitarian aide to reach the besieged city of Aleppo, lies unfulfilled because the UN did not receive the necessary permissions and safety guarantees from the Syrian government to pass down one of the main roads of Aleppo.

Later on, a Red Cross aid convoy that was delivering food to a rebel-occupied territory was targeted and destroyed in an airstrike after the Syrian military suddenly declared an end to the 7-day cease-fire negotiated by the US and Russia.

The UN’s envoy for Syria expressed irritation at the seemingly random attack on the convoy.

“We are outraged,” He said. “The convoy was the outcome of a long process of permission and preparations to assist isolated civilians.”

Secretary of State John Kerry said that because Russia had failed to keep its side of the cease-fire agreement, the proposed joint US-Russia center that would work together to defeat ISIS would not yet be implemented. He pointed to Russia’s failure to ensure food delivery as one of the main causes.

So it seems the cease-fire was kind of a huge failure on practically every term, which is kind of disappointing. It was unlikely that Russia and the US would have both been satisfied enough to do the joint assault on ISIS, but I had at least held out hope that the humanitarian aide clause would have worked out, at least a little bit. Well, so much for that.

It looks like the US and Russia are posed for another thirty years of frosty relations, especially now that Putin and his party won the election. Again.

I have to say, I’m suspicious of the validity of Russian elections, after I read former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov’s book on Russian politics, Winter is Coming. But since we’re stuck with Putin for awhile, I guess we have to make the best of it. And perhaps we’ll see another cease-fire deal in some six months or a year that will be more successful, if the Syrian civil war still continues in limbo.

Man, politics can be really depressing.


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