WATCH: Syria ceasefire must ‘be applied on the ground’ to work, British defense minister says
In this excerpt, British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon discusses the cease-fire in Syria.
British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said that unlike previous calls to disarm, the cease-fire deal announced Friday by the U.S., Russia and Jordan in southwestern Syria “is welcome, but it’s got to be enforced, it’s got to be an actual ceasefire.”
“There have been many ceasefires before that have turned out not to be ceasefires at all,” he said in an interview with PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff airing Friday. “We’ve seen up in Aleppo in the north of Syria, we’ve seen Russia allowing Syria to go on bombing its own civilians, bombing hospitals, after a ceasefire has been declared.”
As for implementation, Fallon said “we want to see it applied to those on the ground so that we can get humanitarian aid into some of those towns and villages that have been cut off in the fighting (so) that we can get aid through.”
Having a dialogue with Russia was the right thing to do to “ensure where Russia does have influence, like in Syria, we can bring Russia’s influence to bear,” he added. Fallon agreed with U.S. officials that there is no long-term future for President Bashar Assad in Syria.
“This is a man who’s attacked his own people, he’s barrel-bombed his own people, he’s used chemical weapons against his own people,” he said.
Fallon also called the continued missile tests by North Korea illegal, a provocation and “unacceptable.” The international community must look at whether current sanctions were breached, he said, and whether new ones, such as those targeting Chinese companies and individuals, should be applied to bring more pressure on the regime.