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Russian FM: US deliberately sparing Islamic State seeking to weaken Assad

November 17, 2015, 15:31 UTC+3
Sergey Lavrov compared the US strikes against IS to "a cat that wants to eat a fish but doesn’t want to wet its feet"
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© Alexander Scherbak/TASS

KHABAROVSK, November 17. /TASS/. The United States and its coalition seem to be sparing the Islamic State organisation so that while it weakens Syrian President Bashar Assad, it can never take power in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Vesti.doc programme on Rossiya-1 television on Tuesday.

"The problem around the U.S.-led coalition is that despite the fact that they declared its goal in fighting exclusively the Islamic State and other terrorists and pledged not to take any action against the Syrian army (life has proved they never went back from their words), 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 Islamic State groups that were capable of pressing the Syrian army," he said.

"It looks like a cat that wants to eat a fish but doesn’t want to wet its feet. They want the Islamic State to weaken Assad as soon as possible to force him to step down this or that way but they don’t want to see Islamic State 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 Islamic State over this time," Lavrov said. "We noted tactical successes when a couple of cities were recaptured in Iraq."

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

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 Islamic State.

"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," the foreign minister said.

"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.

"Thus all these speculations and unsubstantiated accusations that we all but violate all laws of waging a war, making strikes at civilians," he continued.

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