If the cessation of hostilities in Syria failed, Turkey’s proposal for a safe zone could be discussed, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.
“It certainly should be looked at as an avenue,” said Bob Corker, noting that the U.S. has missed the opportunity to change the tide in Syria.
“When Turkey was willing to talk with us about a no fly zone, I think it was the time for us to put that in place in the northwest triangle of Aleppo. If we had done that, I think we would have been at a very different place today,” Corker said.
Turkey has long proposed the establishment of a safe zone in Syria to protect millions of refugees fleeing slaughter by the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
“In many ways we missed our opportunities to really affect things in a more positive way,” Corker said, noting that Russian intervention has propped up the Assad regime and resulted in an end to diplomatic negotiations that were brokered by the U.N. that has ended in stalemates.
“Unfortunately it is going to be driven by Russians because they came in with forces in a way that the U.S. would not do,” he said, referring to the Syrian talks ongoing in Geneva.
Secretary of State John Kerry earlier said if the cessation of hostilities failed, the U.S. would move to a “plan B.”
“I don’t want to be so pejorative but I don’t think that there ever has been a plan B,” Corker said. “I think Russia and Iran and Syria know that there has never really been a plan B.”
Inaction by the Obama administration would result in U.S. interests in the region being driven by Russian actions in Syria, according to Corker.
The Assad regime and its allies continue to violate the “cessation of hostilities” agreement in many cities and towns across Syria, targeting mainly civilian areas and medical facilities.
Aleppo has been coming under brutal aerial and artillery bombardment by regime and Russian forces since April 21. The bombings have not spared hospitals, health facilities, and residential homes, causing the humanitarian situation in the rebel-held parts of the city to deteriorate seriously.
The United Nations has already expressed deep concern about the escalation of violence in Aleppo, announcing that the targeting of hospitals is “a clear violation of international law.” (Source: Agencies)