Yep. The Russians have been doing this for centuries. The most recent example was in Ukraine – and it worked.
“It looks like a classic bit of Russian asymmetric warfare – you have a strong propaganda message that says you’re doing one thing while in fact you are doing something completely different and when challenged you just flatly deny it,” Philip Hammond told Reuters in an interview in Manchester.
He said Britain had held discussions with Russia but kept on getting the same response – that Moscow was attacking Islamic State militants in Syria.
“You try talking to the Russians,” he said. “They just keep repeating their position – that is by the way also the Iranian position – and it is just incredible.”
He said that Britain needed “absolute clarity” that Assad would not be part of Syria’s future.
“That’s not some random bee in the bonnet that I’ve got; it’s that without that commitment we will never get the broad spectrum of Syrian opposition groups to sit down and agree around a table how we take forward the discussion about Syria’s future,” he said.
Hammond dismissed proposals put forward by Russia and Iran for elections, saying Syria was “a million miles away” from being able to hold a free and fair vote.
“In a country where 250,000 people have been killed and 12 million people have been displaced, half of them outside the country – how can you talk about free and fair elections?” he said.