John Kerry Gives Russia An Ultimatum: Stop Bombing Aleppo Or All Cooperation Ends

Tyler Durden's picture

In the latest, and most dramatic - if perhaps entertaining - escalation of diplomacy between the US and Russian, earlier today Secretary of State John Kerry threatened to cut off all contacts with Moscow over Syria, unless Russian and Syrian government attacks on Aleppo end. Kerry issued the ultimatum in a Wednesday telephone call to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Kerry told Lavrov the U.S. was preparing to "suspend U.S.-Russia bilateral engagement on Syria," including on a proposed counterterrorism partnership, "unless Russia takes immediate steps to end the assault on Aleppo" and restore a cease-fire.

As the AP reported, in the telephone call with Lavrov, Kerry "expressed grave concern over the deteriorating situation in Syria, particularly for continued Russian and Syrian regime attacks on hospitals, the water supply network and other civilian infrastructure in Aleppo," Kirby's statement said. Kerry also told Lavrov the U.S. holds Russia responsible for the use of incendiary and bunker-buster bombs in an urban area.

It was unclear what effect Kerry's words would have. There have been many threats lobbed at Russia over the years for the duration of the Syrian conflict, now in its 6th year, and most warnings have gone unfulfilled, including President Barack Obama's declaration that the U.S. would take military action if Syrian President Bashar Assad crossed the "red line" of using chemical weapons. Furthermore, Syria has repeatedly stressed that it is in its right to try to retake Aleppo from rebel forces.

"The burden remains on Russia to stop this assault and allow humanitarian access to Aleppo and other areas in need," Kerry told Lavrov, according to State Department spokesman John Kirby.

According to western-based sources, government shelling and airstrikes landed near a bread distribution center and two hospitals in Aleppo on Wednesday. Activists and medics reported several people killed. They said at least one of the medical facilities was no longer operable, leaving the country's biggest city with only six functioning hospitals.

Ironically, despite Moscow's military engagement in the war alongside Assad's government, Washington has been working with its former Cold War foe in hopes of securing a cease-fire and a peace process, most recently a "landmark" ceasefire deal, which however collapse just a week later after US-coalition forces "mistakenly" bombed a Syrian army position. Still, despite the most recent collapse in diplomatic relations, current coordination to ensure U.S. and Russian planes stay out of each other's way will continue no matter what, the Pentagon said. The U.S. and its coalition partners are flying missions in Syria against IS; the U.S. also has a small contingent of special forces on the ground.

As AP notes, Kerry's threat aside, the U.S. has few other options beyond engaging Moscow to end the fighting between Assad's forces and rebels. Obama has made clear he won't authorize military action against Syria and the presence of Russian air assets alongside Syrian forces makes such a scenario all the more unlikely. The U.S. is similarly uncomfortable ramping up military support for anti-Assad rebels given the close ties even the so-called "moderate" groups maintain with al-Qaida-linked militants.

Making matters worse, peace efforts without Russia are unlikely to win over Assad. And green-lighting Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey or other countries to provide more weapons to the rebels could only make the war deadlier. Already, as many as 500,000 people have been killed. 

Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry presented a different version of the call, which focused on Lavrov's demand that the U.S. compel opposition forces to separate themselves from extremist groups. He told Kerry that many U.S.-backed groups have merged with the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and said Nusra was getting U.S. weaponry that way. He made no reference to the "ultimatum" showing how seriously Russia is taking it.

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nuubee's picture

Stupid fucks are gonna get us all killed.

UndergroundPost's picture

And he's going to write a really scary and nasty letter to Putin too!

WTFRLY's picture

Ahhh the moment we've been waiting for after 5 years of fuckery.

kliguy38's picture

watta douchebag.....and to think he is OUR secretary of death er state

0b1knob's picture

Why the long face Kerry?

IRC162's picture

You heard it, straight from the horse's mouth

BetaGap's picture

Okay, Johnadi Kerry, so please explain on which UN resolution or Right you are in Syria at all.


Fucking 'tard which has only hybris will start WWIII

johngaltfla's picture

I would love to hear Lavrov respond to Kerry on the phone in Russian:

"Frankly my dear, we don't give a fuck what you want."

knukles's picture

What Cooperation is This You Speak of Mr Cohen?

nope-1004's picture

I lost track of red lines and ultimatums.  Which version are we on now?


johngaltfla's picture

Russia is bombing Obama's/Saudi terrorists out of existence.

Kerry objects.

The red line is somewhere in the kitchen closet or panty in the White House right next to the Fruit Loops.

Main_Sequence's picture
Main_Sequence (not verified) johngaltfla Sep 28, 2016 5:08 PM

The US have been completely outclassed and outplayed by Russia in Syria in their attempts to support the Gulf Arab regimes trying to overthrow Assad and realize their dreams of a terrestrial gas pipeline to Europe to challenge Russian gas dominance.  It's an absolute embarassement for the US.  

At this, Russia is clearly in the power poisition, and all the US can do is mudsling Russia in the media about bombing hospitals and UN convoys, and try and negotiate ceasefires under the guise of 'humanitarian aid'.

Kerry Translation: "You've eviscerated our mercenaries to the point where we need to recruit more" (calls Rita Katz to amp up ISIS social media recruiting campaigns)

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

If Secretariat of State Kerry is so worried about the water supply network in Aleppo, perhaps he should tell his Vetted Moderate Good Terrorists® not to turn it off.

BTW, you horse-faced Herman Munster, before cooperation ends, it first must begin. Fucking Vichy DC idiots still can't figure out the flow of time.

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) Shemp 4 Victory Sep 28, 2016 5:39 PM

Just a few short months and Lurch and __iggerbama will be out of power and standing in the unemployment line.


Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) Shemp 4 Victory Sep 28, 2016 6:34 PM

Cooperation = Sanctions

OpTwoMistic's picture

The US contractors are the only ones bombing elect, water and civiilians.

The dollar starts to fail Sunday Oct 2 and all this stops.

Freddie's picture

The UK is also screaming bloody murder.    Meanwhile, the USA and ZATO plus the gulf states and Bibi murder hundreds of thousands if not millions in their phony endless bankster war on terror.

Blankone's picture

Really?  Have you looked at the pictures of Syria.  Pretty much destroyed, other than the west coast.

US bombs Syrian troops directly, puts troops on the ground, has begun an airbase in NE Syria, and is ramping up.

Putin gets fighter jet shot down by Turkey, airliner taken down, helicopter shot down, S400's ineffective or too afraid to use them (the last US attack on Syrian troops lasted over an hour and their cries for protection were ignored), Turkey has moved troops into Syria and has moved the border, etc.

Putin can only make noise at the UN building in NYC.

When the Syrian troops had the advantage they were stopped when Putin negotiated a ceasefire - Twice.  The ISIS troops were allowed, by Putin, to withdraw, rearm, reposition and reattack.  Why?  Maybe Putin and the Russian elite are playing an evil game with Assad.


COSMOS's picture

You are obviously a guy that plays hopscotch between checkers.  Maybe by letting this thing draw out the Russians have totally allowed the world to see what monsters we have in DC and what a villain nation we are.  This will have big repercussions for the dollar and for USA prestige and goodwill for decades to come.  Syria is the third strike for the USA, first two were Iraq and Afghanistan.  Hope you stocked some gold and silver instead of Blanknotes hahahah

Shropshire Lad's picture

Putin has the great advantage that he is not American.

major major major major's picture

I think this is the water color version... last one was sidewalk chalk

adanata's picture


We're on the version where Kerry is just talking to hear himself talk. He's got nothin' and Russia knows it.

trulz4lulz's picture

The "At this point what difference does it make?" one?


" Green to green,

Red to Red,

All is well, go ahead.

When in danger,

Or, in doubt,

Run in circles,

Scream and shout. "

American foreign policy explained for idiots.

Exerpted from the Politician's Manual, Democratic Translation.  

Adullam's picture

Doesn't the threat to stop cooperating with someone imply that you are (or at least were) cooperating? I thought so.

Russia beat them to the punch on this because she already has stated that after the bombing of the Syrian army they would not enter into any further agreements with the USA.

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

The cooperation where Russia stops bombinb CIA assets and then lets those assets run free and kill innocent men, women, and children.

dilligaff's picture

Isn't it about time to send ole horseface to the glue factory?  It's the only humane thing to do!

bamawatson's picture

can't tell his face from his heinz end

Mr. Bones's picture

When asked for further comment, Kerry responded 'neigh.'

Obama won't authorize [any more] military action against Syria.  That happened and in a reasonable world people would still be asking questions about it.

Shropshire Lad's picture

The challenge for the US government, and the world, is that the CIA and the Pentagon have become a law unto themselves.  Victoria Nudelman farting has much more effect than anything Obama says.

wee-weed up's picture

Is that ultimatum like Obozo's "red line?"

Ballin D's picture

To be fair, there is no credible evidence to support the claim that Assad used chemical weapons and the British, along with every other non Jewish intelligence agency in the world other than the US, suspect it was Turkey's chemical weapons.

ACES FULL's picture

"Activists reported several people killed". Shit,you don't say. Who woulda ever thunk it in a war. "Activists",in a war zone? We are leaving our children one fucked up world.

pods's picture

Too many soldiers are dying in "training exercises" must be.

Fuck off Kerry, you POS.  

How did ISIS coordinate their attack so well after the hellfire bombings? (h/t Paveway IV)


sixsigma cygnusatratus's picture

Obama foreign policy fails every time.  Except the part about flooding the US with refugees, the only part of his foreign policy that he's succeeded at.

MFL5591's picture

Interested to see a photo of Vlad Putin falling off his chair laughing !

DocBerg's picture

I'm sure the Russians are quaking in their boots over being served with Double Secret Probation...

StychoKiller's picture

Putin's response: "Oh please, Br'er Fox, please don't throw me in that briar patch!"

Winston Churchill's picture

Seems to be their plan, if you can call it that.

lucitanian's picture

Ya, but what is the real threat? This isn't one. There has been nor "real" cooperation as the US and Israel where directing mercenary terrorists to bomb UN convoys for false flag scenarios or bombing Syrian forces directly until three Russian missiles took out their command, control and intelligence bunker . So, what's the threat? What will Sec of State take away from the table. Absolutely nothing.

It will simply put the chess pieces where they belong, the US (with Israel) and their pawns: Britain France and Denmark, Turkey and Saudi, Qatar and Kuwait, right out there in the open; supporting terrorists against a sovereign state and pretending to be the white hat fight terror and and evil regime.

There is no military solution, but there is no option as long as this sham goes on. There is no opposition without outside support and that support is only military. IS is Israel + USA and a lot of Saudi money without which it would simply vanish. Otherwise their is no "moderate opposition".

So Lavrof has nothing to gain. What's that for an offer? Diplomacy? you call that diplomacy, or that bitch representing the US at the UN a diplomat? The US has played all its cards and this is the last of a loosing hand. And no, they cannot afford WWIII.

conscious being's picture

Human Rights Watch is all over USA ally Saudi Arabia about Saudi war crimes in Yemen, but HorseFace Cohen never heard of the place.

Atavists R Us's picture

The Chosenites are shitting bricks. " CAN'T refuse us! You're only cattle! no, no...wait!....holy shit!!!"

...And so ended the history of this now long-forgotten and despised cult whose name was erased forever....not even a footnote exists today.

i like my science fiction better than the West's. Mine is more believable and more hope-fulfilling.

Omen IV's picture

they are not "stupid" - they are committed to destruction everywhere - the want 3.5 Billion people off the air

Tristan Ludlow's picture

That may be a foregone conclusion. 


If the reporting coming out of the Middle East is correct, then the Russians targeted a joint operation center with their bunker buster missiles which contained US, British, Qatar, Saudi, Israeli and Turkish operators.  I think that could be the reason for the line in the sand and for Saudi complaining. 


Doesn't the opposition always say you blew up a hospital to cover for the real issue?


BTW, WTF are we doing in Syria when the legal government has not invited us.  Sounds like we are again the invaders.  We have worn our welc0me out in most, if not all, of the world.

Tactical Joke's picture

There is no reason on Odin's earth that we should not be on friendly terms with ??????. <- Russia

DieselChadron's picture

Stupid fucks at ap.. interesting how they paid no mention to Lavrov's chuckles as Kerry supposedly accused Russia of destroying Syria's infrastructure.  This is such a bullshit story by ap.  Totally par for the course with those assholes.  

Zerohedge needs to bring back the ratings feature for all the stories like they used to have. Pisses me off to waste time reading ap's bullshit here.  That's the entire reason I come to zerohedge in the first place -to avoid reading ap

Shropshire Lad's picture

Today, the USAF attacked and destroyed two bridges in eastern Syria, continuing their terror campaign against the Syrian people.

SomethingSomethingDarkSide's picture

I'd be more worried that he'd stain my shirt with condiments.  Probably has a dead fish handshake. 

If only we hadn't sold so many arms to Saudi Arabia and Qatar under a certain Secretary of State...