Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Keith Preston: US views Assad as the greater enemy

Press TV. Listen here.

The United States views Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as a “greater” enemy than the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group, as the Assad government is trying to remain independent from the US and Israel, an American analyst says.

Keith Preston, editor of the, made the comments on Wednesday, after US Secretary of State John Kerry asked Russia to force the Syrian government into halting its airstrikes against terror groups.

Speaking at a UN Security Council meeting about Syria on Wednesday, Kerry demanded Moscow to take responsibility for recent attacks on a UN aid convoy and a field clinic in Syria’s Aleppo province before Syrian peace talks could be resumed.

On Monday, UN aid convoy was targeted in an alleged airstrike in Aleppo province’s Urm al-Kubra region.

Washington quickly held Moscow responsible for the attack that killed 12 aid workers and destroyed 18 of 31 Syrian Red Crescent trucks carrying UN-provided food.

“I’m inclined to think that most likely this was an American drone attack because it does fit the profile of the drone attacks that the United States is sponsoring at different places,” said Preston.

The analyst said what the attack on the UN convoy and its aftermath signified a conflict of interest between Russian and the US in Syria.

The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “is seen by the Russians as a bulwark against terrorism,” Preston noted, adding that Russia joined the fight to curb the growth of Daesh.

The US on the other hand “has completely opposite objectives” and views Assad as “the greater enemy.”

“The primary things that the Americans are opposed to are independent regimes in the Middle East, that is regimes that have not been incorporated into the Washington system or which are not aligned with Israel,” the analyst further explained.

“The Americas have tried to work both ends against the middle,” he continued. “They are trying to on one hand oppose and topple President Assad and at the same time, they don’t want to openly support the Daesh either.”

Instead of supporting Daesh, Preston argued, Washington has focused on training and equipping so-called moderate militants who are fighting the government.

The existing conflict of interest was what Preston said keeping Russia and the US from coordinating their airstrikes in order to avoid civilian casualties.

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