(GPA) Washington – Audio has been released of a full conversation between US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Syrian Opposition at the Dutch Mission to the United Nations.
The recording was originally leaked to the New York Times in September but much of it was withheld. The crucial portion that was initially left out included Kerry detailing how the Obama administration allowed the Islamic State (IS) and other militant groups to grow in the hopes of forcing Syrian president Bashar Assad to capitulate to US demands.
The newly released segment of the recording includes Kerry telling the Syrian opposition leaders that he and others had initially pushed for the use of force in Syria but had “lost the argument.” Kerry also admitted to watching IS grow in an attempt to get Bashar Assad to come to the bargaining table with the US.
Kerry told the opposition leaders that “The reason Russia came in was because ISIL was getting stronger, DAESH was threatening the possibility of going to Damascus, and that’s why Russia came in because they didn’t want a DAESH government and they supported Assad.. and we know that this was growing, we were watching, we saw that DAESH was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened….ahhhhh we thought however we could probably manage that Assad might then negotiate, but instead of negotiating he got Putin to support him.”
Kerry’s statements unintentionally acknowledged that Russia’s intervention in Syria was initiated by the legitimate government as a response to the growing threat posed by extremists. Kerry however, did say that by this point that the US was genuinely working to combat IS but there was some problems with their ‘moderate allies’ in Syria as “some of the opposition [has] already kind of chosen to work with them.”
One opposition representative also attempted to urge Kerry to directly attack Hezbollah and other Iranian linked groups in Syria. Kerry countered by first admitting that “Hezbollah are not plotting against us (the United States),” but did aim to reassure the delegation by telling them that Hezbollah is “being targeted by the opposition who we (the US) are arming and training.”
Kerry’s admissions show the true intentions of US policy towards Syria. While the US may not have directly armed IS they did send weapons to the ‘opposition’ that he acknowledges later worked with groups like them and Jahbat al-Nusra. While many critics in establishment circles, both liberal and conservative, say the Obama administration hasn’t done enough in Syria, this audio is just further proof that they’ve done plenty.
Image: Flickr – dcblog