US, Russia Clinch "Breakthrough" Syria Deal Over Vodka, But There Is A Catch

Tyler Durden's picture

It was late on Friday night at the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva, and tired, hungry journalists were waiting in the hotel's windowless basement ballroom for word from either US SecState John Kerry or his Russian colleague, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, that (yet another) deal over Syria had been reached, or alternatively, none was coming. The process was being held back by Kerry, according to Reuters, as US negotiators were engaged in back and forth consultations with officials in Washington. Lavrov confirmed as much when he told reporters to blame the American, expressing disbelief that things were taking so long.

"I hope before Washington goes to sleep we can get some news," he said.

An hour or so later, he fed the press corps another tidbit, literally. Lavrov, accompanied by a posse of officials,
including one bearing a tall stack of pizza boxes, announced that they
were a gift "from the U.S. delegation". But while the pizza was from the Americans, the booze came from Russia: as reporters were eating the pizza, Lavrov came again, this time to hand over two bottles of Russian vodka.

"Pizza from the American delegation. This is from the Russian delegation," he said.

Then, when it seemed that all hope for a Friday deal was lost, and discussions over a peaceful Syria would extend indefinitely a process that started over two weeks, there was good news if only for sleep-deprived reporters: The United States and Russia announced they had reached a breakthrough deal on Saturday to put Syria's peace process back on track, including a nationwide truce effective from sundown on Monday, improved humanitarian aid access and joint military targeting of banned Islamist groups.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov walk into their meeting room in Geneva, Switzerland

Cited by Reuters, late on Friday night Kerry told a news conference in Geneva that "today, Sergei Lavrov and I, on behalf of our presidents and our countries, call on every Syrian stakeholder to support the plan that the United States and Russia have reached, to ... bring this catastrophic conflict to the quickest possible end through a political process."\

Lavrov said that despite continuing mistrust - after all this is merely the latest in a long series of "deals" all of which have promptly been voided by the two superpowers - the two sides had developed five documents that would revive a failed truce agreed in February and enable military coordination between the U.S. and Russia against militant groups in Syria.

There is just one catch: the terms of the latest deal are a secret, and nobody knows what was actually decided, as both sides agreed not to release the documents publicly.

It was almost as if the "stronger" of the two negotiating parties did not want to reveal that it had granted substantial concessions in the public domain.

Still, there was optimism: "This all creates the necessary conditions for resumption of the political process, which has been stalling for a long time," Lavrov told a news conference. The deal followed talks that stretched late into Friday night and several failed attempts to hammer out a deal over the past two weeks.

"The Obama administration, the United States, is going the extra mile here because we believe that Russia, and my colleague (Lavrov), have the ability to press the Assad regime to stop this conflict and to come to the table and make peace," he said.

* * *

While details of the agreement were confidential, Kerry said the "bedrock" of the new deal was an agreement that the Syrian government would not fly combat missions in an agreed area on the pretext of hunting fighters from the banned Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria. Because, as a reminder, the US is now officially arming the al-Nusra spin off, but it's ok: it changed its name, so the US is no longer actually arming a recognized terrorist organization.

"That should put an end to the barrel bombs, and an end to the indiscriminate bombing, and it has the potential to change the nature of the conflict."

Under the agreement, Russian-backed government forces and opposition groups, supported by the United States and Gulf States, would halt fighting for a while as a confidence building measure. During this time, opposition fighters will have the chance to separate from militant groups in areas, such as Aleppo (whose location Gary Johnson knows all too well at this moment) where they have become intermingled.

* * *

What happens next is unclear: previous efforts to forge agreements to stop the fighting and deliver humanitarian aid to besieged communities in Syria have crumbled within weeks, with the United States accusing Assad's forces of attacking opposition groups and civilians. That said, if the truce holds from sundown on Monday, Russia and the United States will begin seven days of preparatory work to set up a "joint implementation center", where they will share information to delineate territory controlled by Nusra and opposition groups.

Both warring sides would pull back from the strategic Castello Road in Aleppo to create a demilitarized zone, while opposition and government groups would both have to provide safe and unhindered access via Ramouseh in the south of the city. "We must go after these terrorists," Kerry said. "Not indiscriminately, but in a strategic, precise and judicious manner so they cannot continue to use the regime's indiscriminate bombing to rally people to their hateful crimes."

Kerry even has some words of warning for the Nusra spin off, the Levantine Conquest Front. Recall that on July 28, the leader of the Jabhat al-Nusra front, Abu Mohamed al-Golani confirmed that his group has formally split from al-Qaeda and has renamed itself Jabhat Fath al-Sham or the Levantine Conquest Front. "The creation of this new front aims to close the gap between the jihadi factions in the Levant," Golani said in his first televised appearance. "By breaking our link, we aim to protect the Syrian revolution. We thank the leaders of al-Qaeda for understanding the need to break links." For the real motive behind the split, read this article.

Kerry warned that all sides in the conflict would need to adhere to the nationwide truce, cautioning opposition fighters that if they did not separate from Nusra they would not be spared from air attacks.

Meanwhile, the US continued to keep Russia at a distance: according to Reuters, Pentagon and U.S. intelligence officials have spoken out against the idea of closer military cooperation with Russia, in particular the sharing of locations of opposition groups that have fought to topple Assad. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who only days ago delivered a forceful speech in England criticizing Russia, has long been skeptical of Moscow's intentions in Syria.

The Pentagon in a statement it would carefully monitor the "preliminary understanding" agreed on Friday and cautioned the Assad regime and its backer, Russia, to stick to deal requirements. "Those commitments must be fully met before any potential military cooperation can occur," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said. "We will be watching closely the implementation of this understanding in the days ahead."

* * *

Actually, there is another catch in the latest peace "deal": as Reuters pointed out moments ago, as of Saturday morning fighting raged on in southern Aleppo, the army and rebels said, just hours after Kerry and Lavrov hailed their "breakthrough deal" to put Syria's peace process back on track.

The army attacked rebel-held areas, pushing to maximize recent gains before a new nationwide ceasefire was due to come into effect on Monday. Insurgents said they were planning a counter offensive. "The fighting is flaring on all the fronts of southern Aleppo but the clashes in Amiryah are the heaviest," said Captain Abdul Salam Abdul Razak, the military spokesman of the rebel Nour al-Din al Zinki Brigades.

We expect the rebels to retaliate over the next 48 hours, at which point the "secret" ceasefire will supposedly be implemented, only to be broken fast with either sides accusing the other of being responsible, and so on, because peace in Syria is definitionally impossible: as of this moment, it is in the interest of every major outside power for the civil war to continue; the only losers are the Syrian people, who will continue leaving the country by the millions, making their way to the heart of Europe and Angela "open door" Merkel's warm embrace.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Iconoc's picture

Kept secret, it makes you wonder what they've conceded this time.  Only time will tell.

philipat's picture

Does it involve pallets of Swiss Francs being delivered somewhere? That's just to pay for the Pizza of course..

Sounds like another wonderful Woody/Ketchup Boy masterpiece of international diplomacy.

Tarzan's picture

If we can call a nation wide truce, then we control ISIS, dirty warmongering bastards!

Manthong's picture

"President Wilson Hotel in Geneva…"

Is that anything like the John Wilkes Booth Hotel in Brussels?

... or the Gavrilo Princip Hotel in Sarajevo?



philipat's picture

No, it's the most exclusive and expensive Hotel in Geneva, where nothing is cheap. Ketchup Boy and his entourage are probably costing US at least $150K per day, including the Presidential Suite for Kerry. But the ketchup id free...

Here2Go's picture
Here2Go (not verified) philipat Sep 10, 2016 6:20 AM

Russia must have tossed in a bag of oats as a sweetener

Took Red Pill's picture

The US wanted a deal badly because it wanted Russia to stop bombing their guys on the ground (ISIS)

nightwish's picture

Most of the secrets pertain to us activity in the matter no doubt. Guess who's reaaly behind the false flag dropping of chlorine gas bombs

Manthong's picture

I do not drink vodka often.

But when I do, I prefer it to be with Swiss pizza and a puffy horse face with no ribbons in the background.

Manthong's picture

For those who might not be totally on top of things…

President Wilson…

-The 17th Amendment - removing the states out of the United States federal Government…

The 16th Amendment -establishing confiscatory income tax..

The Federal Reserve Bank Act -destroying the value of the US dollar.


"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men." -Woodrow Wilson, after signing the Federal Reserve into existence

... no wonder the socialist Europeans named a oligarch hotel after him.


The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) Manthong Sep 10, 2016 9:29 AM

"..the terms of the latest deal are a secret.."

What?  Did Obama offer to give Putin a Billion Dollars or something to get them to agree?

conscious being's picture

Manthong, he campaigned for reelection in 1916 on the slogan "He kept us out of war." Then, safely reelected, he entered WWI.

Ranger4564's picture

Like Greenspan, it's Mea Culpa after he's done all the dirty work, but while he was doing it, he was the smartest person on the planet, of course. Rot in hell and don't ever come back to life, fuckers.

FireBrander's picture

BILLION OF DOLLARS SPENT on "regime change" in Syria...and somewhere along the line it also turned into a fight against "ISIS"...and just when ISIS is about to be smashed....the USA cuts a deal with Russia that leaves Assad in power and saves ISIS from defeat...

Anyone, including Trump, that cannot see how this was ALL MANUFACTURED is either brain dead or a part of the criminal group that carried it out.

nc551's picture

I never understood how they could pass the 16th without directly repealing the first amendment, which would mean nothing as it merely nods to the unalienable right.

espirit's picture

Wonder if Kerry brought Lavrov a bag of sweet feed?

new game's picture

oh, so the mic has there billions in profit? all bank accounts full? and the cuntin foundation full of freash donations? all good for a while because we all know war is a racket and moar war must happen for these greedy fucks...

knukles's picture

Lavarov looks like he just won the lottery

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

but there is a catch...Obama must do a shot of vodka without wincing to prove he's man enough for the deal

Life of Illusion's picture



Thats one messy pipeline map...

Ranger4564's picture

Or he wasn't sipping on water like the rest in the meeting. ;-)

ack's picture

Clorine is prolific in Syria cuz its used to purify groundwater. Most buildings throughout Syria have clorine tanks on the roof storing the chemical. When bombings occur the clorine is released. It's not being dropped from planes. Another meme killed.

Yukon Cornholius's picture

I wonder how long before Assad gets backstabbed. The Russians certainly don't care about him and I doubt they'd go to nukes over his chinless, skinny ass. The Russians just want a ME foothold and a pipeline deal, like the western traitors do.

Ranger4564's picture

And stop Turkey, which is coordinated with Russia, Iran, Iraq, and the rest of the freaking world. Only the US, UK, IL, and miscellaneous other douchebag nations are supporting the "rebel" forces named CIA / ISIS / miscellaneous Mercs / coopted nutjobs.

Kayman's picture

Same deal as Iran. Obama wanted a deal for the sake of having a deal.  History will show this guy as an airhead dilettante way over his pay grade.  

Just imagine what the $10 trillion in national debt and $5 trillion in Fed debt could have done to rebuild this nation; as opposed to welfare payments to individuals, political cronies and the dirty big banks.

Pumping up asset prices, creating nothing.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Sugar cubes! Kerry fucking loves 'em!

NachoLiebor's picture

and apples! Make sure to keep your fingers and thumb flat so he won't bite them off.

VinceFostersGhost's picture



But There Is A Catch


Uh huh.........secret.......consider yourself to be screwed.

trentusa's picture

Manthong, why are you making up things that don't exist? There is no such thing as the 'John Wilkes Booth Hotel' in Brussels, or the 'Garrido Princip Hotel' in Sarajevo. If these places really exist outside a figment of imagination pls provide a proof link. Likely you were joking, no?

Ranger4564's picture

He was simply pointing out the absurdity of naming the hotel after a sociopathic criminal offender, like the 2 others he named.


trentusa's picture

Yea ok, capiche. Woodrow Wilson pretty much fucked us every which way but Sunday. I didn't get it.

auricle's picture

Assad stays, no pipleline. 

Urban Roman's picture

The Henry Kissinger Hotel in Hanoi was all booked up this week.

Which way to the beach's picture

"The Henry Kissinger Hotel in Hanoi was all booked up this week"

Was Johnny McCain holding a reunion for the crew of the USS Forrestal? Oh, It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...


Son of Captain Nemo's picture

If we can call a nation wide truce, then we control ISIS, dirty warmongering bastards!

You nailed it!

FireBrander's picture

Of course we control ISIS; how the hell else could they fend off the USA's multi-year "war on terror" in Syria?

Instead of reaching a "cease fire" with "all parties"...shouldn't we have reached an agreement to work with Russia to attack ISIS from all sides and destory them in Syria? 

FireBrander's picture

Obama's plan to "defeat ISIS":

"The way to defeat ISIS is reminding them "you are not strong, you are weak.""

"We defeat them in part by saying you are not strong, you are weak," Obama declared. "We send a message to those who might be inspired by them to say you are not going to change our values of liberty and openness and the respect of all people.""

FireBrander's picture

Posted this many times, but it's all you need to know to have a solid understanding of "ISIS":

"The self-titled “Islamic State” (IS) and Al Qaeda before it, operate a global network and are currently waging war on multiple fronts. What amount of weapons, money, political support and transnational logistical arrangements must exist to support warfare stretching across North Africa, engulfing the Levant, creeping across Afghanistan and even attempting to take root in Southeast Asia?"

"To truly stop terrorism, the US would need to strike at the very source of their arms, cash and political support. Since it is clear that this source resides in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia ), Amman(Jordan), Ankara(Turkey), Doha(Qatar) and even Washington itself(USA!,USA!,USA!), it is obvious why the scourge of terrorism appears “unstoppable.”"


Russia is crushing ISIS....and in walks the USA to provide "political support" for ISIS by negotiating a "cease fire"...

Boris Badenov's picture

Yes! The US agreed not to retaliate against Russia for bombing ISIS. And for not telling the world how they use the world's banking system with illegal oil sales, when Iran was barred from it. And not to tell that Turkey was never targeting ISIS, in fact, allowed access to ports to ship said oil. Wonderful.

Not answered is How is Ertegan allowed to stay in power, and make Turkey look like a dictatorship, and NATO says nothing. And how do they get away with bombing only Kurds and nobaody says anything? We'll know soon, the lifecycle of secrets ain't what it used to be...

BennyBoy's picture

Is Obama (Kerry) negotiating with Putin (Lavrov)?


Sounds like what Trump would like to do, and Hillary bashes him for it.


Goose meet Gander.

mkkby's picture

Why a secret?  US election in 60 days, and Obama/Hildebeast would be embarrassed.  Nothing secret is ever good.  Anything good is marketed out the ass.

Obama is negotiating with Putin while The Cunt is attacking Trump for the same.

Assad won the war the moment Russia was invited in.  Everything since is just the US trying to save face.


The non-disclosure would have to be decided at the Presidential level, yes? firebrander above shouldn't underestimate F.M. Lavrov, it was just the other day President Putin was joking about "hollow" meetings. hence the vodka !

indygo55's picture

They are delivering pallets of Federal Reserve notes to all the warring parties to stop fighting. They need to keep it quiet until Obana gets out of office and Team Hillary can pardon him. Thats the plan. How it works out I'm not so sure. 

Tarzan's picture

Let me fix that for you,

They are delivering pallets of Federal Reserve notes to all the warring parties to continue fighting.

If Kerry says he's working on a truce, believe the opposite! 

More likely, another plane loaded with pallets of weapons are about to accidently be airlifted to ISIS.

Infocat's picture

This is just a compromise for show, the Neocons running our government have no intention whatsoever to work together with Russia.

SheepDog-One's picture

Yes and I thought according to Hitlery and the media that any talking to Russia, at least in Trumps case, is just wrong and traitorous behavior? So why does Kerry get to saddle up so cozy with Russia, shouldnt he be bitch slapping the pizza out of their hand?

Bay of Pigs's picture

Pretty sure Lurch was kissing Lavrov's ass.

King Tut's picture
King Tut (not verified) Bay of Pigs Sep 10, 2016 6:47 AM

It's still better looking than Theresa's

MANvsMACHINE's picture

Close but Lavrov was facing him.