Damascus blames Washington for Syrian conflict

Damascus, Feb 24 (IANS) Syria on Wednesday condemned the remarks of US Secretary of State John Kerry, who warned that Syria would be hard to be held together if the cessation of hostilities did not succeed, according to state news agency SANA.

“Kerry’s remarks run counter to the reality and fall in the framework of misleading the public in a bid to hide his country’s responsibility for the crimes committed in Syria,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The US and its allies and regional tools hold all responsibility for the eruption and continuation of the crisis in Syria through supporting terrorism,” the ministry added.

A day earlier, Kerry said if a political transition to a government to replace the current administration in Syria did not unfold, there would be options, in a reference to an undefined plan B the US has, which could include military action.

Moscow said it had no idea what the US’ plan B might be.

Russia and the United States agreed to enforce a cessation of hostilities starting from February 27.

Any party engaged in conflicts in Syria will indicate to Russia or the US their commitment to and acceptance of the terms for the cessation of hostilities by no later than 12.00 Damascus time on February 27, according to a joint statement issued by the US State Department.

On Tuesday, the Syrian government and rebel groups accepted a plan for a cessation of hostilities.

Syrian President Bashar Assad reassured his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a phone call Wednesday that his administration will resolve to observe a cessation of hostilities as planned by Russia and the United States, according to SANA.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin phoned Assad on Wednesday, in which both leaders discussed the current situation in Syria in light of the agreed upon ceasefire, according to SANA.

Both presidents also agreed on the need to continue the war against the terrorist-designated groups, namely the Islamic State and the Al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, both were excluded from the ceasefire plan as they are designated as terrorist groups by the UN.

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