Kerry: 'We Are Closer to Ceasefire' After ISIS Super-Bombs Syria
Mon, February 22, 2016
A victim of the ISIS bombings in Damascus Sunday. (Photo: SANA)
A series of suicide bombings in Syria conducted by the Islamic State, resulting in death tolls of 150 people or more, should be looked upon as the terror group’s de facto answer to the ceasefire being duly prepared by the world’s powers.
Ripping through strongholds of beleaguered Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, two cars loaded with explosives exploded near a bus stop in central Homs, targeting students and government employees on their way to school and work. It was the fourth in a series of bombings of the neighborhood by the Islamic State (ISI/ISIL) since December.
Those attacks were followed by three blasts in the southern outskirts of Damascus. Those bombs exploded near the popular and revered Lady Zeynab Shiite shrine, where at least 83 were killed and 178 were injured.
Meanwhile, world powers, going through the motions in Munich, Germany, recently agreed to a “cessation of hostilities,” which was to have taken effect Friday.
For his part, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a ceasefire was still “possible.”
"We are closer to a ceasefire today than we have been, and I take nothing for granted about this," Kerry said, speaking to reporters at a news conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh the day of the bombings.
Assad, a brutal dictator known for his torture chambers built for political opponents (and then some), beckoned “ordinary” Syrians who fled the conflict zone to come back. Calling on those who left due to the "standard of living that has been deteriorating drastically," Assad promised they could return without fearing reprisals by the government.
"We want people to come back to Syria," Assad said, speaking to reporters.
Even (non-ISIS) rebels said they would agree to a temporary truce -- if Assad’s backer’s stopped attacking them.
It is hard to believe the players in this war do not see the futility of such “peace talks.” Moreover, if a “cessation of hostilities” were to exist, each player undoubtedly, would envision a different ceasefire, to his advantage.
Going through the motions may look good to the international media, but each of the powers involved in Syria has reasons to continue the conflict -- which appears to be what is happening, with the U.S., Russia, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia playing out proxy wars against one another on a Middle East playing field – leading us to conclude, the worst is yet to come.
Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org