U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to the media during a news conference at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York, December 18, 2015. REUTERS/EDUARDO MUNOZ
New York Times: Audio Reveals What John Kerry Told Syrians Behind Closed Doors
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Secretary of State John Kerry was clearly exasperated, not least at his own government.
Over and over again, he complained to a small group of Syrian civilians that his diplomacy had not been backed by a serious threat of military force, according to an audio recording of the meeting obtained by The New York Times.
The 40-minute discussion, on the sidelines of last week’s United Nations General Assembly in New York, provides a glimpse of Mr. Kerry’s frustration with his inability to end the Syrian crisis. He veered between voicing sympathy for the Syrians’ frustration with United States policy and trying to justify it.
The conversation took place days after a brief cease-fire he had spearheaded crumbled, and as his Russian counterpart rejected outright his new proposal to stop the bombing of Aleppo. Those setbacks were followed by days of crippling Russian and Syrian airstrikes in Aleppo that the World Health Organization said Wednesday had killed 338 people, including 100 children.
At the meeting last week, Mr. Kerry was trying to explain that the United States has no legal justification for attacking Mr. Assad’s government, whereas Russia was invited in by the government.
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WNU Editor: He is clearly frustrated, and with only a few weeks left before the U.S. election .... he knows that his time is now up.