State Dept: US Seeks No Confrontation With Russia in Syria, Ready to Use Force

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
By Paul Martin

The US, the UK and France launched a strike against Syria on April 14 as retaliation for the alleged chemical attack in Douma. Russia warned the US against delivering a strike, reminding that it has military personnel on the ground and that they will react accordingly.

Wess Mitchell, Assistant Secretary of State has said in a written statement to the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the US doesn’t seek confrontation with Russia in Syria, but warned that it is ready to use force if needed. He also noted that Russian mercenaries have allegedly tried to attack US military positions in Syria.

According to Mitchell, the US has fulfilled its role in preventing the escalation of conflict with Moscow, maintaining contact with it via special channels created to prevent incidents in the very complicated and “overloaded” battle space.

He added that the US and its allies are close to defeating Daesh* in Syria and Iraq.

“In the upcoming days and weeks the US and our allies will weaken and defeat IS, support stable Syria and limit malicious influence of Iran,” Mitchell said.

The assistant secretary of state expressed confidence that the Syrian conflict can only be solved via talks in Geneva. He urged Russia to join the talks and also to bring Assad along. According to him, so far Russia has been “a spoiler to Geneva” and added that its “intervention” in Syria and support for Assad has raised the risk of confrontation with Western countries.

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