Mr Kerry’s call came shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin defended his military assistance to Assad’s government and said it was impossible to defeat Isil without co-operating with Damascus.
Assad told the media outlets from Russian Federation , a major ally, that Tehran’s support was also essential for his regime in Syria’s conflict, which has cost more than 240,000 lives since 2011.
If such a request is made, it will be “discussed and considered”, Peskov said.
For the U.S. officials, “if they cooperate with the Syrian army, this is like recognition of our effectiveness in fighting ISIS“, Assad said, using another acronym for the group. Kerry noted that the USA seeks to better understand Russia’s intentions amidst concerns of a recent alleged military build-up.
At least seven giant Russian Antonov An-124 military transport aircrafts have taken off from a base in Russia during the past week to transport equipment to Syria, using Iranian and Iraqi air corridors, the Times reported, citing U.S. officials.
The United States opened the door on Thursday to possible tactical discussions with Russian Federation about the war in Syria, as Moscow’s deepening military presence raised the prospect of some limited coordination between the former Cold War foes.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must step down, but not necessarily immediately upon reaching a settlement to end the country’s civil war.
“The Russians proposed in a conversation I had today, and in the last conversation specifically, that we have a military-to-military conversation and meeting”, Kerry said. Putin is known to be an admirer of Netanyahu, but the two have been at odds on several issues, most recently Russia’s plan to sell its advanced S-300 missile system to Iran, after world powers concluded a nuclear agreement with Tehran.
In the interview, Assad fired back at Western leaders who called for the dictator to resign among reports of repeated human rights violations that include the indiscriminate targeting of civilians with chemical weapons and barrel bombs.
“If you are anxious about them, stop supporting terrorists…”
The defiant remarks come as Russian Federation increases support for Assad’s beleaguered military, which has lost substantial territory over the past year.