The Department of State boasted of “bringing peace” to Syria in 2015 in a blog post inspired by a hashtag Thursday, although the country is still being torn apart by Islamic State and a devastating civil war.
Inspired by the hashtag “2015in5Words” and an email from Secretary of State John Kerry charting out the year ahead, State Department spokesman John Kirby compiled a list of “pivotal foreign policy events” for the department in 2015 that includes: “Bringing peace, security to Syria.”
The entry below cites U.S. humanitarian aid to the region and a State Department push for President Bashar Assad to relinquish his regime as support for the claim, although it acknowledges the conflict rages on. (RELATED: ISIS Uncovers Assad’s Torture Prison)
“From the humanitarian crisis endured by refugees fleeing violence, to the reprehensible human rights violations and violence carried out by the Assad regime, the Syrian people have borne a heavy load,” Kirby writes below the “bringing peace, security” header.
The paragraph left out any mention of ISIS, which has established a de facto capital in the Syrian city of Raqqa, and controls large swaths of territory there. In a separate win, however, Kirby boasts the State Department is “Winning Fight Against Violent Extremists.”
Assad, ISIS and the Syrian rebel groups continue to brutalize the country and stoke a mass exodus from the Middle East and North Africa. Millions of refugees are making a dangerous journey into Europe in an attempt to flee the violence and persecution resulting from the chaos. (RELATED: It’s Official: Migration Into Europe Hits World War II Levels)
The U.S. and Russia have been in talks with 15 other nations about how to end the Syrian civil war, and in November Kerry and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov agreed to a timeline that includes a ceasefire within six months.
U.N. special envoy Staffan de Mistura called the plan “very challenging but possible,” according to Bloomberg News. Neither Syria nor the opposition groups have participated in the talks or agreed to the plan, and they’ll have to be brought on board by their respective allies.
In the course of the talks the Obama administration shifted its priority substantially away from an immediate removal of Assad, which is a big win for him and his Russian allies. Kerry told the press the U.S. and its allies are “not seeking so-called regime change” following a December meeting with Lavrov.
Even so, Kirby boasted in the blog post the plan with Russia “puts forward a roadmap that will facilitate a transition within Syria to a credible, inclusive, nonsectarian government that is responsive to the needs of the Syrian people.”
Other wins on the list Kirby compiled include normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba, the Iran nuclear agreement, stopping the spread of Ebola and protecting the arctic climate.
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