Your editorial on Syria's civil war ("The cease-fire card," May 3) is deliberately misleading.

You treat the breakout of fighting in Aleppo as something that just happened because of the "gaping loophole" in the cease-fire accord that "allowed Russia and the Assad regime to continue striking Islamic State fighters and those of the al-Nusra Front."


You further state that loophole "gave Syrian President Bashar Assad and Vladimir Putin a convenient excuse for attacking any rebel group or civilian area under the justification of battling ISIS and al-Nusra."

Of course, ISIS and al-Nusra have never accepted the cease fire, and, therefore, are fair targets for attacks, since they have never ceased fighting.

Your attack on Mr. Putin and Mr. Assad is disingenuous. The problem, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has pointed out, is that many of the so-called "moderate rebel groups" refuse to distance themselves from al-Nusra positions, which the Russians have insisted they move away from in order to avoid getting attacked.

Further, as is well known, many of these U.S.-backed "moderate" rebels have handed over half of their U.S.-provided weapons to al-Nusra, which is the affiliate of al-Qaeda. In addition, Lavrov has recently charged that unnamed parties are trying to manipulate the U.S. to extend the cease-fire to areas held by al-Nusra. Is he referring to Saudi Arabia?

We know that the fighting in Aleppo started soon after Saudi Arabian-backed rebel groups in the so —called "High Negotiating Commission" walked out of the Geneva talks, insisting that they would not be part of any talks that did not include the ouster of Mr. Assad.

The so-called Free Syrian Army also announced that it would not honor the cease fire. So how can you blame Mr. Assad and Mr. Putin for causing the fighting by attacking terrorist groups, which are not part of the cease fire, and other "rebels" in the same area who have rejected the cease fire?

Clearly, Secretary of State John Kerry wants to work with Mr. Lavrov to end the civil war in Syria, but this is not the policy of President Barack Obama, who has repeatedly insisted on the overthrow of Mr. Assad, which will only prolong the war. The idea of having Saudi Arabia arm the "moderate rebels" with shoulder-fired manpads to shoot down Syrian and Russian planes if the Syrian cease fire fails, what is called "Plan B," could lead to war with Russia.

The only solution to this war is to instead of bringing down Mr. Assad, bring down the leaders of Saudi Arabia, our so-called ally in the "war on terrorism" that has backed both ISIS and al-Nusra by insisting on the release of the 28 pages of the congressional Joint Inquiry on Foreign Financing of Terrorism, which has reportedly shown direct links between the government of Saudi Arabia and the hijackers of Sept. 11, 2001.

If it is revealed that sections of the U.S. government covered up the role of Saudi Arabia in 9/11 more than just the Saudi government will be overthrown.

Gerald Belsky, Baltimore