Russia FM offers to extend aerial support to Syrian rebels

Published October 25th, 2015 - 08:14 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

Russia is ready to provide air support to Syrian opposition groups including the Free Syrian Army, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday.

“We are ready to provide air support to opposition forces including the Free Syrian Army, but the U.S. has not given us information about the coordinates of the terrorists or patriotic opposition,” Lavrov said in an interview aired on state TV channel Rossiya-1.

He added that Washington’s refusal to coordinate operations in Syria with Moscow was a “mistake”.

Russia began carrying out airstrikes in Syria last month. Turkey and the West have accused Russia of targeting moderate Syrian groups opposed to Russian ally President Bashar al-Assad.

Lavrov claimed Russia was defending “Syria's interests” rather than a particular faction in the four-year civil war.

“We do not want to consider the interests of either Bashar Assad or the opposition,” he said. “We want to consider the interests of Syria. I believe we may be the only country which has been supporting contact with all political forces in Syria.”

Russia’s involvement in the conflict has caused deep concern among the countries that form the U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition, including Turkey.

There have been a number of incidents in which Russian warplanes have violated Turkish air space or Turkish jets have been “locked-on” by Syria-based missiles as they patrol the border.

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