US President Barack Obama yesterday warned that Russia’s military engagement in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad is a “recipe for disaster”, though Washington could still work with Moscow on reducing tensions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin “doesn’t distinguish between ISIL and a moderate Sunni opposition that wants to see Assad go,” Obama told reporters, referring to the self-proclaimed Islamic State group.
“From their perspective, they’re all terrorists. And that’s a recipe for disaster.”
Russia carried out a third day of air strikes in Syria, saying it targeted Islamic State militants, as Putin faced increased international criticism over his military campaign.
The West has raised concerns that Russian forces were also striking at rebel groups opposed to Assad, in a bid to bolster its ally.
Obama accused Moscow of “propping up a regime that is rejected by an overwhelming majority of the Syrian population”.
He also said the United States would “continue to support” moderate rebels in Syria because they are groups that “can help pick up the pieces and stitch together a cohesive, coherent country” in the aftermath of Assad’s rule.
Obama signalled he was willing to engage with Putin, particularly if Moscow “works instead to bring about a political settlement” instead of doubling down on its military support to Assad.
“We can bring the rest of the world community to a brokered solution, but that a military solution alone - an attempt by Russia and Iran to prop up Assad and try to pacify the population - is just going to get them stuck in a quagmire.”
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
17 dead after tourist boat sinks in storm
Trump defends efforts to build a rapport with Putin
Cohen taped Trump discussing payment to Daniels, says NYT
Ortega blames US and bishops for unrest
Robin Williams possessions to be auctioned in New York
Seventeen dead after Missouri tourist boat sinks in storm
Anger against Ortega rises as anniversary marked
Children attacked by shark in New York
Trump eyes another meeting with Putin