Secretary of State John Kerry steps off of his aircraft as he arrives at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, from London, November 25, 2013. REUTERS/Carolyn Kaster/Pool
Josh Rogin, Washington Post: Inside Kerry’s race to stop the siege of Aleppo
Our indefatigable outgoing Secretary of State John F. Kerry is engaged in a furious if implausible diplomatic effort to strike a deal with Russia to end the siege of Aleppo. He is motivated not just by the scale of the humanitarian crisis in the Syrian city but also by the prospect that the incoming president will strike a different kind of deal with Moscow, one that abandons the Syrian opposition and places the United States squarely on the side of dictator Bashar al-Assad.
The State Department is not advertising Kerry’s quiet mission, following the quick collapse of the last U.S.-Russia cease-fire agreement he struck. But behind the scenes, Kerry is spearheading a process that seeks to stop the brutal bombing campaign that the Assad regime and its Russian partners are waging in eastern Aleppo, which has included the targeting of hospitals and the siege of a quarter of a million starving civilians.
Four administration officials described the effort to me as a long shot at best, but also the only chance to persuade the Syrian and Russian governments to halt the killing. “We are still actively trying to push it,” one official told me. “We are not giving up on this. We think we need to give it a chance.”
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WNU Editor: Russian media is dismissing this initiative .... Kerry makes ‘unbelievable effort’ to save Syrian rebels from Trump, Russia confirms (RT).