The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama was alarmed by the statements of the head of the Department of state, John Kerry, learned the journalist of The Washington Post Josh Rogin. Kerry, speaking at the end of June in the American city of aspen, called “subgroups” of Syrian fighters Association “Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-sham” (banned in Russia) that deviates from the official line of Washington.
In his speech, Kerry stressed that the most important issue of Syria is “reaching understanding” with the Russian government on how to deal with “Islamic state and “Dzhebhat EN-Nusra”. Both groups banned in Russia, and are included in the UN security Council list of terrorist organizations.
“But there are several sub-groups ISIS and jabhat an-Nusra, in particular, the “Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-sham”, which do not comply with the conditions and still fighting,” said Kerry. The Secretary added that these enterprises periodically also fight the Syrian military. As noted by Rogin, before that, American officials never considered these groups a terrorist. They do not exist in the list of the UN security Council. The Russian authorities have repeatedly considered them to be extremist.
As the journalist of WP, Kerry’s statement went unnoticed by most media, however, caused alarm inside the White house. Two representatives of the administration, working on Syria, said Regino that the reckoning of the head of the state Department to be a terrorist group “Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-sham” is not just inaccurate. According to them, the words of the Secretary of state may undermine the efforts of Washington, which is trying to convince Moscow and Damascus not to attack the members of these associations.
“Many months we’re trying to convince Russia and the Syrian regime not to equate these groups to terrorists. Kerry’s own words “losing” the item,” said Regina senior “White house.” Another official in an email, wrote the journalist: “confused. I shake my head”.
State Department spokesman John Kirby in conversation with the journalist said that in the US there is “absolutely no change”. Washington continues to insist that the ceasefire should not apply only to those groups that are officially recognized by the UN as terrorist. “Secretary Kerry was just trying to describe the complexity of the situation in Syria and noted that us does not go unnoticed a change of loyalty by some fighters,” said Kirby.
In late April, Russia introduced counter-terrorism Committee of the UN security Council a request for the inclusion of “Ahrar al-sham and Jaish al-Islam as a terrorist. However, the UK, USA, France and Ukraine blocked the proposal.