Russia says U.S.-led coalition not ready for cooperation on anti-ISIS campaign in Syria

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A man sits in the rubble following a barrel bomb attack the previous day in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. (AFP)

ARA News 

ISTANBUL – Subsequent to Russia’s military intervention in Syria, backing pro-Assad forces against rebels, violence increased in the coastal region of the war-torn country, claiming lives of hundreds including civilians. 

The Russian strikes have reportedly helped pro-Assad forces to advance against rebel factions on several fighting fronts.

This comes as Moscow, through its Foreign Minister Sergi Lavrov, sent signals of resentment towards the position of the U.S.-led coalition forces regarding coordination in anti-terrorism actions.

The U.S.-led coalition, which includes over 60 countries, has been conducting airstrikes against the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq for more than a year.  

“We believe that in talks with our U.S. and Persian Gulf colleagues we feel more understanding of the threat and understanding of the need to fight,” Lavrov said in a press conference. 

“We are interested in establishing coordination between the coalition, led by the United States and the countries of the Arab world, including the countries of the Persian Gulf, and our military, so that it’s not only establishing rules to avoid incidents, but so that we could coordinate joint actions. Our colleagues from the coalition are not ready for this yet,” Lavrov said.

Since the start of its air campaign on Sept. 30, Russian warplanes have carried out some 300 strikes against what it described as “terrorist” targets. 

Also, Russian warships in the Caspian Sea have fired 26 cruise missiles on ISIS targets, according to Russian reports. 

Earlier this month, Russia had asked other countries fighting the ISIS militant group in Syria to exchange information on the extremists.  

In a clear shift of the U.S. strategy in Syria, the Pentagon will press pause on its training program for Syrian rebel groups fighting Islamic State (ISIS).

Washington will provide direct aid and equipment to rebel units that are making significant achievements against ISIS militants.

This comes as Syrian rebel groups encounter mounting challenges as Russia stepped up its airstrikes. 

Reporting by: Egid Yousef

Source: ARA News

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