State Dept. Acknowledges Syria Has Been in Same Situation Before With No Improvement

December 15, 2016

State Department spokesman John Kirby acknowledged on Thursday that the situation in Syria has been repeating itself as another fragile ceasefire is holding for the moment in Aleppo.

Washington Post reporter Carol Morello asked Kirby at the State Department daily press briefing if Secretary of State John Kerry's words matter to the Assad regime in Syria, adding that the current state of affairs is similar to what has occurred before.

"John, I can't help but feel like we've been here before," Morello said. "Do you have any reason to believe that as long as the words of the secretary and the rest of the world fall on deaf ears in Damascus, that there is anything in the dynamics on the ground that will make this any different than what we've heard weeks ago and months ago?"

At first Kirby agreed that the Obama administration has done nothing different in its handling of Syria and with the Assad regime's primary supporters, Iran and Russia.

"We're all mindful that we have said these things before, we have made these same arguments, we have urged the same sort of restraint and dignified approach on both the regime and its backers to little avail," Kirby said. "We're exceedingly frustrated by where we are."

Kirby then turned to what the ongoing situation in Syria may lead to if nothing changes, including more refugees and further strain put on many neighboring countries in the region.

Morello asked Kirby if there was a reason to believe that the ceasefire may hold this time when previous ones have collapsed. Kirby answered by saying that Kerry would continue to work on achieving a political solution in Syria and noted that buses have started to move civilians out of the besieged section of Aleppo.

The Obama administration has been adamant that a military solution would not solve the situation in Syria, at least for the United States.