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Russia-US Syria Standoff to Intensify Unless US Separates Terrorists, Opposition

© REUTERS / Ammar AbdullahPeople inspect a site hit by airstrikes in the rebel held town of Atareb in Aleppo province, Syria, July 25, 2016
People inspect a site hit by airstrikes in the rebel held town of Atareb in Aleppo province, Syria, July 25, 2016 - Sputnik International
Political experts discussed the Syrian conflict from the points of Russia-US relations, which can reach a "hot stage".

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SOCHI (Sputnik) – Syrian conflict will never be settled and the confrontation between Russia and the United States will reach a "hot stage" unless Washington separates terrorists from the Middle Eastern country's moderate opposition, experts at the Valdai Discussion Club said.

"We are almost at the end of the road, we are very close to the hot confrontation at the moment, but I believe that the reason will prevail. The main pursuit to it on the US side is how to distinguish between the friends and foes, and who is the so-called acceptable opposition," a member of the Valdai Club Foundation's advisory council, Piotr Dutkevich, said.

Dutkevich added that the United States needed to make that distinction themselves as it would change the situation on the ground entirely.

Moscow has been calling on Washington to separate moderates from terrorists in Syria for over a year now. Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov once again urged the United States to fulfill the promise.

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Professor of political science of the University of Chicago John Mearsheimer said that the situation in Syria is deadlocked as Moscow and Washington have different goals there.

"The United States was committed to regime change in Syria, and Obama administration continues it. Americans do not put troops on the ground in Syria the way they did it in Afghanistan and Iraq, but they fund money into Syria to support forces dedicated to overthrow [Syrian President Bashar] Assad," Mearsheimer said.

The problem that the United States now face in Syria is that Russia, since the start of its campaign in Syria in September 2015, will not allow them to topple the Syrian president, the expert added.

"There is no solution, Russians and Americans are on different sides," Mearsheimer said.

The ongoing conflict in Syria has lasted for about five years. Since it's beginning it has claimed lives of thousands of people and displaced millions more. The international community has undertaken steps to end the Syrian conflict and to solve the humanitarian crisis in the Middle Eastern country.

A view taken with a drone shows the minaret of Osama Bin Zayed mosque along with damaged buildings in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, October 13, 2016 - Sputnik International
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On September 9, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry unveiled a peace plan to address the conflict. The ceasefire deal was later shattered by numerous violations, which resulted in intensified fighting between the Syrian government and militants in Aleppo. The Syrian government has announced an end to the ceasefire regime, while Russia said that the United States failed to fulfill its obligation to separate terrorist groups from moderate opposition.

On October 3, the US State Department announced in a press release that Washington was cutting off participation in bilateral channels with Russia on sustaining a ceasefire agreement.  US media reported that the administration of US President Barack Obama had been discussing strikes against Assad following the failure of the truce.

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