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Pentagon, CIA heads demand to increase pressure on Moscow over Syria — media

February 23, 23:48 UTC+3 NEW YORK
The publication called Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Marine General Joseph Dunford and CIA Director John Brennan an "alliance of Russia hawks in the cabinet"
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Pentagon (archive)

Pentagon (archive)

© AP Photo

NEW YORK, February 23. /TASS/. Top military and intelligence officials in U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration want to increase pressure on Moscow by expanding support to militants fighting in Syria after the agreement was reached with Russia on the ceasefire in Syria on February 27, the Wall Street Journal online newspaper said on Tuesday.

The publication called Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Marine General Joseph Dunford and CIA Director John Brennan an "alliance of Russia hawks in the cabinet."

According to the daily, at the last meeting in the White House Obama’s top advisers expressed extremely bellicose views towards Moscow.

On Monday night Russia and the United States released a joint statement saying that the ceasefire will take effect in Syria at 00:00 Damascus Time on February 27.

"The cessation of hostilities commence at 00:00 (Damascus time) on February 27, 2016," the joint statement said.

"The United States of America and the Russian Federation, as co-chairs of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and seeking to achieve a peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis with full respect for the fundamental role of the United Nations, are fully determined to provide their strongest support to end the Syrian conflict and establish conditions for a successful Syrian-led political transition process, facilitated by the UN," it said.

The statement points out that the cessation of hostilities is to be applied to all parties to the Syrian conflict but for Daesh (the Arabic acronym for Islamic State) and Jabhat an-Nusra (both are banned in Russia) "or other terrorist organizations designated by the UN Security Council."

The second round of the inter-Syrian negotiations was due in Geneva under the auspices of the UN on February 25, but several says earlier, the UN envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura confirmed the timing was not realistic.

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