Russia has declined the request made by the U.S. to stop air raids in Syria, whose aim is supporting Assad’s government against Isis. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has made it clear. Moscow – he said – has waited for too long for the coalition led by Washington to allow the moderate opposition to take action in order to liberate the areas controlled by the Caliphate. Russian air bombings “cannot come as a surprise.”
“We warned the Americans in advance about what is going on in Aleppo and its surroundings, and they knew that we would have actively supported Syrian troops from the air to prevent terrorists from gaining ground,” Lavrov said. “Washington asked us and the Syrians to wait for the opposition forces to Assad to physically leave Isis jihadists and Jubath al Nusrra front alQaedists before starting raids. We believe that they have had enough time to do so. Now, “those who have not left the terrorists should only blame themselves. Now, we will decide how our air force are going to act on the basis of the situation on the ground.” According to the Russian minister, the Americans were informed about Moscow’s position in a videoconference, “hence, they will not be surprised.”
The US State Department has insisted that the US keep negotiating with the anti-Assad groups on the ground to encourage moderate elements to distance themselves from Al-Nusra Front. “We have reiterated that Russia and the Assad regime must distinguish between terrorists (Isis and Nusra Front) and (other) parties if they want to put an end to hostilities,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said.