MR KIRBY: -- acquire any additional territory as per – as laid out in the cessation of hostilities agreement. I’m not going to speculate about actions, decisions, consequences, down the road.
QUESTION: Down the road means – by some estimates, it could fall in, like, the next five days.
MR KIRBY: The Secretary was clear this morning in his phone call to Foreign Minister Lavrov about the sense of urgency that we have here on the United States side with respect to what we want to – what we need to see them do.
QUESTION: The U.S. has expressed grave concern over what Saudi Arabia is doing in Yemen by hitting civilian targets there. Why isn’t the U.S. cutting – threatening to cut ties with Saudi Arabia?
MR KIRBY: We have – the Secretary talked about this when we were in Jeddah a few weeks ago. We have been honest with the Saudis about our concerns over the lack of precision in some strikes, and we’ve talked to them about the importance of conducting investigations into those strikes. And we know that – excuse me – that they continue to do that, to investigate. But --
QUESTION: But that’s far from threatening to cut ties.
MR KIRBY: It is the --
QUESTION: Congress just approved a sale of $1.1 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia – the Senate.
MR KIRBY: That’s right, because we have a strong defense relationship with Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia is under attack from --
QUESTION: Even though they’re hitting hospitals, schools in Yemen.
QUESTION: At the moment you have a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia. (Laughter.)
MR KIRBY: Excuse me. Saudi Arabia is under attack from missiles that are finding their way into Yemen with the help of Iran that are raining down on Saudi --
QUESTION: And Saudi Arabia is targeting --
MR KIRBY: -- Saudi – Saudi citizens, and they have a right to defend themselves. Now, we have – I have stood up here I don’t know how many times and talked about our concerns about the precision or lack thereof in some of these strikes and our concerns about that, and the Saudis have taken our concerns seriously. This is a different situation, and I think comparing what’s happening in Yemen to Syria is a ludicrous exercise.
QUESTION: But Saudi Arabia is doing there what Russia is accused of doing in Syria, so I’m --
MR KIRBY: No, no.
QUESTION: How is that consistent?
MR KIRBY: Because what we’re seeing the Russians do – and I would love to see you ask your government some of these questions. Russia Today never does that. You never poke and prod your own government. But so --
QUESTION: Oh, I do. But go on, on the first question.
MR KIRBY: Every so – so --
QUESTION: You attack me when you want to evade a question. You’ve done that before.
MR KIRBY: No, no, I’m not attacking you. I’m not attacking you.
QUESTION: Please, aside from that.
MR KIRBY: I’m not attacking you. I would just love to see your institution ask these same kind of questions of your own government – your government, which is flying aircraft over Aleppo and bombing hospitals. And it’s not imprecision; it’s specifically targeting civilian infrastructure and innocent people, innocent women and children and first responders that are trying to come to the rescue after these strikes occur. I mean, that’s deliberate, that’s measured, that is absolutely in violation of international law.
QUESTION: I’m asking --
MR KIRBY: We’re not talking about the – we’re not talking about civilian casualties that are caused by an inefficiency in the targeting process. We’re talking about, in Aleppo specifically, an effort to take that city down and to acquire --
QUESTION: And --
MR KIRBY: -- to acquire it, it in violation of the cessation of hostilities, which was agreed on by Russia – oh, by the way – in February.
QUESTION: John --
QUESTION: I am here asking you what I think are fair questions, and I have one more, if you can just --
MR KIRBY: I’ll give you one more.
QUESTION: Attacks – yes, put attacks aside --
MR KIRBY: I’m not attacking. I’m not attacking.
QUESTION: -- and just try to respond to the question.
MR KIRBY: I just am curious.
QUESTION: You are.
We are learning that Syrian rebels have received, quote/unquote, “excellent quantities” of surface-to-surface Grad missiles from, quote/unquote, “foreign states.” Actually, this is from a Reuters article. I was quoting a Reuters article. Considering how intertwined some of these rebel groups are with al-Nusrah specifically in Aleppo, how long do you think before these powerful weapons end up in the hands of terrorists?
MR KIRBY: I couldn’t possibly begin to answer that question. I don’t – I can’t confirm the veracity of that press reporting, and I’m not going to engage in speculation on a press report I can’t speak to.
QUESTION: Do you have any information about rebels (inaudible) --
MR KIRBY: Michel. Michel.
QUESTION: -- these weapons?
QUESTION: Is delivering MANPADS to the opposition is one of the options that the agencies are discussing?
MR KIRBY: Guys, I have talked about the fact that I’m not going to discuss in any greater detail interagency discussions about this.
Russian activists should protest each day on UK embassy against UK war crimes and support of terrorist scum