US ‘not fulfilling’ Syria agreement: Russian military


16 Sep 2016 – MOSCOW: Russia Thursday accused Washington of failing to meet its obligations under the Syria ceasefire agreement, while criticizing U.S. officials for voicing skepticism over cooperation with Moscow. Russian military spokesman Igor Konashenkov slammed the U.S. for what he called “rhetorical fog” intended “to hide the fact that it is not fulfilling its part of the obligations.”

In a statement, he defined the U.S. role as “first and foremost to separate ‘moderate opposition’ groups from terrorists”.”As of the third day (of the truce), only the Syrian army is observing the regime of silence. At the same time, the ‘moderate opposition’ led by the U.S. is increasing the amount of attacks on residential districts,” Konashenkov said.He insisted: “Russia has respected its obligations to fulfill the ceasefire regime in Syria from the first minute.”

U.S. officials have voiced skepticism that Russia will fulfill its part of the agreement struck last week between the two former Cold War adversaries after years of bad blood over Moscow’s Ukraine and Syria policies.Under the agreement, U.S. and Russia said they will establish a “Joint Implementation Center” to share targeting information for air strikes in Syria if the truce that went into effect on Monday holds for one week. Several Pentagon officials have told AFP of their deep unease over the Syria truce, with one saying: “The timeframe is short, but there’s a gulf of trust that’s larger than the timeframe.”

State department spokesman Mark Toner said Wednesday that “we’ve seen violations on both sides” in Syria, although the ceasefire is broadly holding.