MESOP INSIGHT : JUST ANOTHER USELESS IDEA BY KERRY / Kerry Calls for Grounding of Russian & Regime Warplanes

UPDATE 0630 GMT: The opposition Syrian National Coalition has welcomed John Kerry’s statement for the grounding of military flights, but cautioned, “This won’t be achieved by deals with Russia, which has shown a consistent willingness to violate deals and to flagrantly violate international law.” The Coalition appealed for a “no-bomb zone”for all of Syria, and putting “credible force back on the table” to deter the Assad regime.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: US Secretary of State John Kerry called on Wednesday for a grounding of Russian and regime warplanes over parts of Syria, two days after Russia apparently carried out strikes on a UN aid convoy.


Addressing the UN Security Council, Kerry said that the flights over zones of humanitarian need must be stopped in a last chance to salvage a ceasefire and find a way “out of the carnage”:

To restore credibility to the process we must move forward to try to immediately ground all aircraft flying in those key areas in order to de-escalate the situation and give a chance for humanitarian assistance to flow unimpeded.

The Secretary of State said Monday’s missile strikes and bombing — in which about 20 people were killed, including 12 Red Crescent personnel — raised “profound doubt whether Russia and the Assad regime can or will live up to” ceasefire obligations.

Kerry will chair a meeting of the 23-nation International Syria Support Group, where he is expected to repeat his call. However, the Assad regime has already issued a rejected, saying the halt to flights — and presumably bombing — would be a “breach of sovereignty”.

On Wednesday, the regime continued attacks, including one on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province which killed at least 13 people. Activists also said that 15 personnel were killed in a strike on a medical center in Khan Tuman, west of Aleppo city.

The Local Coordination Committees documented the deaths of 89 people across Syria yesterday, including 52 in Aleppo Province and 23 in Idlib Province.

The Syrian military said that it struck seven areas near Aleppo.