Britain’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper reports an unnamed government source as saying Cameron would accept Assad remaining as interim leader, while a unity government is formed in Syria. A Labour Party aide said Assad could not be part of a peace plan.
Although Assad’s forces oppose the jihadists, the West and its allies blame him for persecuting his own people and triggering the civil war that has allowed the IS group to thrive. Although they caution against viewing Mr. Putin’s moves through a Cold War-era prism, they say there is little question of his desire to project power and poke a geopolitical finger in America’s eye as world leaders gather in New York. “We regard Russian Federation as our friend and strategic ally which is honest in its actions”.
Iraq welcomed the creation of the cell as a chance to help harmonise often competing efforts in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group. A first cross-border foray by 54 US-trained fighters was defeated by an Al-Qaeda linked militia and a second appears to have traded many of their arms to jihadists for safe passage. The Iraqi Joint Operations Command promised to “help and cooperate in collecting information”, the Associated Press reported.
Meanwhile, Russian Federation is continuing to invest militarily in the defense of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose regime is also supported materially by Iran.
Speaking on the United States network CBS, Putin said that “Syrians and only Syrians” should be able to decide the fate of their country.
Putin is expected to explain Russia’s motives in Syria when he addresses the UN General Assembly tomorrow, just after President Barack Obama takes the podium.
The comments came as French President Francois Hollande confirmed that France had carried out its first air strikes against ISIL, but said that Syria’s future could not include Assad.
Besides the address to the General Assembly and meeting with Putin, Obama also was to meet Monday with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and lead a summit on worldwide peacekeeping.
Mr Putin criticised Washington’s plans to train up to 5,400 Syrian rebels to fight the extremist group. They say lack of a clear American policy has given ISIL opportunities to expand.
Last week, Putin’s spokesman said that Russian Federation would consider any request from Damascus to deploy ground forces in support of Assad’s army.
“What we have to discuss with Russian Federation, what we have to try to reach agreement about, is that it’s in everyone’s interests that this part of the world has stability, that it has governments that can represent all its people, that it isn’t fomenting terrorism”.
Moscow already has a powerful military detachment on a Syrian airbase in government-held territory, equipped with warplanes and tanks, and will now work more closely with neighboring Iraq.
The deal is the latest indication of expanding Russian influence in the region as Moscow embarks on a major buildup of troops and military assets along the Syrian coast.