The partial ceasefire in Syria that was brokered by Russia and the United States in February was extended on Wednesday to the embattled northern city of Aleppo, where both government and militant forces have been shelling each other’s positions.
According to Henningsen, the ceasefire has little chance to change situation in Aleppo.
Extremist groups in the city will use the ceasefire to buy time to get reinforcements to establish new supply lines that have been cut off by Russian airstrikes, he suggested.
“The problem is that Al-Nusra Front, or Ahrar ash-Sham, or all these terrorist groups that are operating freely in Syria in these rebel – held areas – they are ubiquitous with the so-called opposition. You can’t separate them; this is just a game, this is being played,” the analyst told RT.
He added that while there is a diplomatic process underway to settle the crisis “behind the scenes there is whole other agenda playing out,” and the US knows it very well.
Henningsen said that what the US is doing is called a “strategy of confusion” in terms of public relations. It is aimed at making a number of contradicting statements on the situation so no one can understand what is actually going.
“This is used to basically obscure and cover up what is essentially a dirty war going on the ground in Syria right now,” he said.
The expert also commented on the possible reasons behind Washington objecting to Russia’s actions and proposals on Syria.
“I think it’s out of frustration. Russia came in with a very clear objective back in October, 2015 and they achieved that objective by a lot of people’s estimation. […] This upset everybody because the US was saying that Russia was being dragged into a quagmire. At every turn the narratives that are being conjured up by the State Department are getting knocked down and disintegrating,” he said.
Henningsen noted that the US has spent millions of dollars on the “Aleppo is burning,” a PR campaign to create a so-called “no bombing zone” like it was with the “no-fly zone” and “safe zone” before.
“This is a public relations war with a level of sophistication we’ve never seen before,” he concluded.