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The all-out assault on Aleppo by Russian and Assad regime aircraft, targeting as it does aid convoys, hospitals, homes, market places and mosques, seems to have mildly surprised and deeply upset senior American officials. Saddled with a president content to look the other way while mass murder unfolds, they had persuaded themselves that Moscow's demands for joint Russian-American airstrikes against terrorists presented a genuine diplomatic opening. This explains the administration officials' "big stick" in response to ongoing Russian war crimes: they threaten – as if Moscow cares – to walk away from an agreement embodying tactical and strategic collaboration with Russia in Syria. Whenever Washington would object to Russian air attacks on American-equipped Syrian rebel units, this too would be characterized by Moscow as Washington's fault: without a clearly delineated, American-produced, who's who on the ground in Syria, Russia would have to consider all Syrians not reporting to their client as terrorists.Kerry gets the big picture: with defenseless civilians on the bull's-eye, there is no prospect for diplomatic progress in Syria; and the Assad regime and Russia make Daesh (ISIS) look hesitant by comparison when it comes to mass homicide in Syria.
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