The White House said it would use the talks to urge Russian Federation to focus its actions in Syria on countering the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.
“Russia is supporting the Syrian government and is ready to offer everything possible to combat terrorism when it becomes necessary”, al-Moallem said.
The source told Reuters the army had started using the highly efficient weapons in recent weeks and have been training with them in Syria for months.
“New weapons are being delivered, and [they are] new types of weapons”.
The Pentagon said Thursday it is “aware” of Russia’s interest in opening military-to-military communications with the USA , but Defense Secretary Ash Carter has not yet decided if he will call his Russian counterpart.
Russia’s growing support of Syria has prompted a scheduled visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Russia to express concerns about advanced Russian weaponry falling into the hands of Hezbollah. Some European officials, however, have called this policy into question, fearing that a precipitous collapse of the Assad regime would only result in either ISIS or the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front overrunning Damascus.
In 2013, after sarin gas was used against civilians in the Syrian city of Ghouta, Washington threatened to hit Assad’s forces with airstrikes before Russian Federation stepped in and brokered a deal for Syria to relinquish its chemical weapons stockpile. “The secretary stressed that there is no military solution to the overall conflict in Syria, which can only be resolved by a political transition away from Assad”.
In a long and wide-ranging interview, Mr Assad said there had been no co-ordination with the United States in the fight against Islamic State and denied talk of a potential peace initiative proposed by Iran.
“It is Assad’s machine that fostered the Islamic State threat, because the failure of the moderate opposition led people to join or to support probably what was another far more radical opposition, especially in the face of the worldwide community not caring, or its impotence”. Two Syria-based groups as well as the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said warplanes carried out at least 12 air strikes across the city on Thursday.
“You have a conversation in order to do that, ” Kerry said after Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov proposed the talks.
The comments by White House spokesman Josh Earnest came on September 17 as Russian Federation , again, pushed for the US administration to work with Assad’s government in the fight against IS militants who have overrun wide swaths of Syria and Iraq.
Russian Federation has reportedly moved artillery units and tanks to an airport in Assad’s coastal stronghold in Latakia province, along with dozens of personnel and temporary housing for hundreds more.
Russia has always been a political supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s authoritarian regime and has sold the country Russian-built weapons consistently for more than 10 years.
USA officials said on Wednesday the United States had identified a small number of Russian helicopters at a Syrian airfield.