Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Keith Preston: Russia, US have conflicting foreign policies in Syria

Press TV. Listen here.

Conflicting foreign polices make it difficult for the West and Russia to reach an agreement over Syria, says an analyst.

Chief editor and director of, Keith Preston, made the comments in an interview with Press TV on Sunday, citing recent talks between the US and Russia in an effort to hold a truce in Syria.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in Geneva on Friday to resolve some issues in Syria. They discussed ways in restoring a nationwide truce to Syria and opening up aid deliveries, however failed to come to a comprehensive agreement on boosting joint efforts to end the 5-year-long conflict.

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet on August 26, 2016 in Geneva over the situation in war-ravaged Syria. (AFP)

Preston argued that Russia and the US have different goals on the Syrian war, noting, “Russia wants to protect and preserve the Bashar al-Assad government against terrorism taking over in the region.”

Russia has been assisting the Syrian government in its fight against foreign-backed terrorist groups, including the Daesh Takfiris.

According to Preston, Syria’s national sovereignty has been a contentious issue between the West and Russia and US wishes to maintain an armed insurgency in Syria through the so-called moderate groups he described as “American proxies that are waging armed struggle against Assad”.

The only common area of agreement between the Russians and the Americans he added, is that both sides would like to see the Daesh group “eliminated”, but have “different ideas on how to go about doing this.”

Preston said the war in Syria has expanded into a battle ground for international geopolitical relationships between Russia and resistance movements who are opposed to US hegemony. He also implied that US allies such as Saudi Arabia and Israel are beneficiaries of American foreign policy in Syria.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict. Back in 2014, the UN said it would no more update its official death toll for Syria because it could not verify the figures that it received from various sources.

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