US-led strikes on ISIS positions in Syria selective, Lavrov asserts

Moscow, SANA- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov asserted that most of the strikes launched by the United States and its international coalition on the positions of ISIS terrorist organization in Syria were selective.

“The problem around the U.S.-led coalition is that despite the fact that they declared its goal in fighting exclusively ISIS and other terrorists and pledged not to take any action against the Syrian army, analysis of the strikes delivered by the United States and its coalition at terrorist positions over the past year drives us to a conclusion that these were selective, I would say sparing, strikes and in the majority of cases spared those ISIS groups that were capable of pressing the Syrian army,” Lavrov said in an interview with the Vesti.doc program on Rossiya-1 television on Tuesday.

Lavrov pointed out that the coalition wants ISIS’ assistance to weaken the Syrian government, but at the same time it does not want to see ISISI strong enough to take power.

“Our opinion of the developments after the anti-terrorist operation was launched in August 2014 is based on what we see and we see next to no concrete results but for the expansion of the ISIS over this time,” Lavrov said, adding “We noted tactical successes when a couple of cities were recaptured in Iraq.”

Lavrov stressed that Russia is waging a consistent and resolute fight against all those who profess and preach terrorist ideology.

He highlighted that Russia responded to the request of the legitimate Syrian government for military assistance to the Syrian army by airstrikes to stop an offensive action of ISIS, saying
“We are doing this consistently and we are not dividing terrorists into those who could help solve some tactical tasks in the hope to end with them later, but are striking out at all who one way or another practice and preach terrorist ideology.”

“I think ‘laments’ that we heard about ‘Russia striking at wrong targets and causing damage to moderate opposition’ stem from that ambiguity that underlies the activity of the [US-led] coalition: there is a wish not to let terrorists go on the loose, but not to prevent this in the cases when they can weaken the regime,” Lavrov continued, affirming that “all these speculations and unsubstantiated accusations that we all but violate all laws of waging a war, making strikes at civilians.”

Reem/Hazem Sabbagh

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