Kremlin warns deposing Assad would create ‘total chaos’ in Syria

Kremlin warns deposing Assad would create ‘total chaos’ in Syria.  MOSCOW, Russia warned the United States that overthrowing the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad would create ‘total chaos,’ but said it would support incorporating members of Syria’s opposition into the government.

Russian President Valdimir Putin at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on September 28, 2015. Pool Photo by Chip Somodevilla/UPI | License Photo

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that overthrowing Assad could make “the region plunge in total chaos.”

At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said incorporating Syrian opposition into the government may be an effective move, if approached carefully.

“It is also necessary not to go over the top in this case and it is necessary to proceed from present-day realities and avoid seeking the declaration of unfulfillable, unachievable goals,” Putin said. “It is necessary to act accurately, step by step, gradually achieving the trust of all conflicting parties. If this happens, and I believe that this will happen all the same, the sooner, the better, and then it will be possible to move farther and talk about subsequent elections and full settlement.”

The comments come just hours after a leaked internal memo showed 51 U.S. diplomats signed a “dissent channel cable.” The memo repeatedly called for “targeted military strikes” on the Syrian government as it continues to violate cease-fire agreements in the country’s five-year civil war. The memo calls for “a judicious use of stand-off and air weapons, which would undergird and drive a more focused and hard-nosed U.S.-led diplomatic process.”

Peskov said the Kremlin “knows nothing” about the memo and would not comment about it specifically.

“There are such general media reports. That’s why we cannot say anything about it, of course. We do not have any reliable information on this so far,” he said.

By Amy R. Connolly