Secretary of State John F. Kerry vowed Tuesday not to allow Syria’s largest city and onetime moderate opposition stronghold of Aleppo to fall to the regime of Syrian president Bashar Assad — even if that means abandoning the fragile cease-fire that U.S. officials have been trying to uphold in the war-torn nation.
“If Assad’s strategy is to somehow think he’s going to just carve out Aleppo and carve out a section of the country, I got news for you and for him: this war doesn’t end,” Mr. Kerry told reporters at the State Department.
Mr. Kerry also suggested that if serious progress is not made toward politically removing Mr. Assad from power by August, the Obama administration will have no other choice but to dramatically change its approach to Syria’s 5-year-old civil war.
Regional experts warned in February, when the administration first engineered the cease-fire, that it would effectively consolidate the Assad regime’s gains around Aleppo — putting all of Syria’s major cities back under Mr. Assad’s control.
But Mr. Kerry said Tuesday that U.S. officials and Syrian opposition representatives remain determined not to let that happen.
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Image courtesy of AP
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