'Russia must stop support for Assad if it seeks to join US-led coalition'

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US State Department spokesperson John Kirby (AFP photo)

The United States has ruled out Russia’s partnership in the so-called US-led coalition against Daesh (ISIL) in Syria, unless Moscow changes its strategy and stops “propping up” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said on Friday that Russia's strategy in Syria is "inconsistent with the goals of the coalition, which is to defeat ISIL, if you’re also propping up the Assad regime and flying missions in support of the Assad regime and helping the Assad regime stay in power, it’s simply inconsistent with the core goal of the coalition itself."

In the wake of the terror attacks in the French capital of Paris, which was claimed by the Daesh Takfiri terrorists, French President Francois Hollande called on Russia and America to create a “large coalition” to destroy ISIL.

However, Russia’s involvement in the coalition, according to Kirby, would depend on Moscow’s commitment.”

“But in order for that to work, every member of the coalition has to have the same focus on defeating ISIL, and thus far we, talking about Russia, haven’t seen that same commitment,” he said.

On September 30, Russia began its military campaign against Daesh terrorists and militants fighting against the Syrian government. Moscow has carried out scores of airstrikes, killing hundreds of terrorists. 

The US has also been carrying out its own airstrikes in Syria, allegedly pounding Daesh positions inside the country. Washington continues to accuse Russia of focusing on the opposition groups that are fighting the government of Assad. President Vladimir Putin, however, has repeatedly assured that Russian jet fighters were targeting ISIL terrorists.

The terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control parts of Syria and Iraq. They have been engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control.


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