The Kremlin is not paying any serious attention to reports of Washington’s alleged plans to act more aggressively in Syria. “These reports are not coming from any particular source, they are actually “groundless,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
“That is why there is no reason to take them seriously,” he added.
Earlier Reuters reported citing White House sources, that the US administration had begun to mull over the possibilities of undertaking more resolute and aggressive steps in Syria in case diplomatic efforts failed. It is reported that these discussions are preliminary, and are being held on a “staff level.”
One of the unnamed representatives of the administration supposed, in particular, that Washington may begin with “follow up on (the Secretary of State John) Kerry’s threats and quit the dialogue on Syria with the Russians.” At the same time, according to the agency’s sources, the failure of the negotiating process will leave the US authorities no other choice but consider the alternatives, including the use of military force.
For example, the US may allow its allies in the Persian Gulf to provide the Syrian insurgents with more advanced weapons, which is a highly likely step, although at present Washington is not ready for that, Reuters wrote. In addition, the possibility of an airstrike against a Syrian air base in not excluded but that may lead to Russian military casualties so that possibility is a less likely one.
The White House is deeply concerned over the fast-moving offensive by Syrian government troops on Aleppo, as the seizure of this city by the Syrian military will become a serious blow to the opposition forces. The sources say that in this regard suggestions have been made to support the rebels with airstrikes, “that will not turn the war around but will make the Russians stop and think twice.” There is also an idea of providing the rebels with man-portable air defense systems or sending more special troops to the country in order to train pro-Western forces.
The expansion of the US military presence in the Eastern Mediterranean region and the use of war planes for delivery of civilians to the rebel-controlled areas are among other suggestions. The sources cited by Reuters note that the last suggestion has been recognized as too risky and “placed last on the list.”