U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday discounted a suggestion from an Assad regime official that his government is prepared to take part in a unity government in Syria, saying that its continued bombing of the city of Aleppo gives no positive messages.
In an interview with Lebanon-based al-Mayadeen TV, aired on Monday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said the Damascus government has proposed a political roadmap that could put an end to more than five years of war in the Arab country.
He said Damascus would support the idea of holding a referendum on a new constitution followed by parliamentary elections and the formation of a unity government.
“The Assad regime’s statements are almost meaningless at this point in time,” Kerry told reporters in Cartagena, on a trip for the signing of a peace deal between the Colombian government and FARC rebels.
“So we will have to see whether or not anything can develop in the next days that indicates a different approach from the Russians and from the regime,” Kerry said.
“I don’t think the opposition is going to be particularly excited about having a negotiation when they’re being bombed and starved,” Kerry said.
“While they’re pounding Aleppo, dropping indiscriminate bombs, killing women and children, talk of a unity government is pretty complicated,” Kerry said.
Assad regime said on Thursday it was starting a new wide offensive to recapture the rebel-held parts of Aleppo after a week-long ceasefire was declared officially over on Monday. the offensive includes a ground assault, artillery bombardment, and intensive airstrikes.
Since last Monday, more than 400 civilians have been killed in rebel-held areas of Aleppo province, including the besieged eastern part of the city, Civil defense workers said on Monday.
The Assad regime forces, backed by Russian air force and Iranian militias, has been tightening its grip on rebel-held districts of Aleppo this year, and this summer achieved a long-held goal of fully encircling the area.
Recovering full control of the rebels’ last significant urban area would be the most important victory of the war so far for Assad, strengthening his control over Syria’s most populous and strategically important regions.
The Syrian crisis began as a peaceful demonstration against the injustice in Syria. Assad regime used to fire power and violence against the civilians and led to armed resistance. 450.000 Syrians lost their lives in the past five years according to UN estimates, and more than 12 million have lost their homes.