Obama: Russia won’t change policy on Syria

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 President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks during a press conference at the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development Center in Paris on December 1, 2015. (AFP photo)

US President Barack Obama says he does not expect that Russia will change its policy on Syria, and will only target the Daesh terrorist group while spare Western-backed militants.

“I don't expect that we're going to see a 180 turn on their strategy in the next few weeks, they have invested for four years in keeping [Syrian President] Assad in power,” Obama told reporters on the sidelines of a climate summit at Le Bourget on the outskirts of Paris on Tuesday.

Obama said Russia and the US have differences on the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The US president added that it’s  not possible for him to bring Syrians together.“It is impossible for Mr. Assad to bring that country together.”

Russia has been conducting airstrikes on Daesh (ISIL) positions at the request of the Syrian government since September 30.

The United States has accused Russia of targeting so-called moderate militants instead of ISIL terrorists. However, Russia has denounced the accusations as baseless, saying they are attacking both pro- and anti-Western terrorists wreaking havoc in Syria.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Obama said is confident the world would be able to solve the problem of global warming. "Climate change is a massive problem, it's a generational problem. And yet despite all that, the main message I've got is, I actually think we're going to solve this thing."

He called the global threat of climate change "an economic and security imperative that we have to tackle now."

If global warming continues, "then before long we are going to have to devote more and more of our economic and military resources not to growing opportunity for our people but to adapting to the various consequences of a changing planet," he said.

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