State Dept. on Syria: 'The Failure Is in the Belief This War Can Be Solved Militarily'

December 14, 2016

State Department spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday that the failure plaguing Syria right now is the belief that the current war can be solved with a military solution.

In the wake of another ceasefire collapsing in Syria, Associated Press reporter Brad Klapper told Kirby that the Obama administration has failed repeatedly with diplomatic talks, which he said may lead to a temporary ceasefire only to have fighting restart. Klapper asked what the United States would do differently to have a different outcome.

"The failure is in the belief that this war can be solved militarily, and the failure is on Russia for not putting the proper pressure on the Assad regime to stop the brutality, the gassing, the surrender, the starvation of their own people," Kirby said at the State Department daily press briefing. "That's the real failure here."

"The failure is on the part of the regime and its backers, including Russia and Iran, for the way they continue to try to find a military solution to what should be a political one," Kirby continued. "That's the real failure here and the Syrian people are the ones caught in the crossfire quite literally."

Klapper kept asking Kirby if the United States and the Obama administration have failed thus far on Syria, to which Kirby disagreed with the question and mentioned the lack of moral standards by the Syrian regime and its supporters.

The Obama administration has repeatedly refused to consider any military related tactics in aiding the moderate rebels in Aleppo and throughout Syria. Congress has recently authorized the commander in chief to arm Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles, a move that will carry over to when Donald Trump assumes the White House. The administration has already ruled out sending any such weaponry, however.

Syrian and Russian aircraft have caused much of the ongoing destruction in the besieged city of Aleppo.