The US has been concerned about how to respond to Russia’s increased support for Assad and how to interpret the intent behind the delivery of tanks, helicopters and other military equipment to a base in the coastal province of Latakia. Russia’s military involvement raises a number of concerns, especially because it does not appear to be coordinated with the other countries operating in the area, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the subject and spoke on condition of anonymity.
A Syrian military source revealed on Thursday that President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has in recent weeks begun using advanced air and ground weapons from Russian Federation, in a worrying sign of Moscow’s growing role in the bloody Syrian civil war.
“Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Jordan, who pretend to be part of a coalition against terrorism in northern Syria, actually support terrorism in the south, the north and the northwest, virtually in the same regions in which they are supposed to be fighting terrorism“, Assad alleged.
“The United States, I think, mistakenly at first excluded any possibility of President Assad being involved in deciding what would happen to [Syria] in the future”, he said on Wednesday, probably meaning that it is no longer the case.
Talks between US and Russian military leaders may not be a bad idea.
But despite the common enemy, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry earlier this week warned his Russian Federation counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that Moscow’s continued support for Assad “risks exacerbating and extending the conflict”, a statement of the conversation said.
During the latest phone call between the pair, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Lavrov stressed the need to create a united front to battle terrorist groups in Syria.
In the interview, Assad described Russian Federation as an impartial intermediary among Syrian groups, a characterization many of his foes would strongly deny, given Russia’s support for him.
“The West is supporting terrorists since the beginning of this crisis when it said it was “a peaceful uprising” – as they called it”.
At the White House, spokesman Josh Earnest raised the prospect of possible Russian contributions to the campaign against Islamic State.
Moscow’s moves in Syria set the stage for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 28, likely shifting some attention away from Ukraine and toward the conflict in Syria.
He added: “Because of the Russian engagement, the situation in Syria is becoming more complicated”.