US-Led Coalition May Keep al-Nusra Safe for Later Use Against Assad – Lavrov

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DVORIKI (Russia) (Sputnik) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday said that some members of the US-led coalition against Daesh are interested in preserving the Jabhat Fatah al-Sham terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) for later use in the fight against Damascus.

“I have an ambivalent attitude to how the coalition works… We have no doubt that the coalition is determined to firmly eradicate the so-called ‘Islamic State,’ and all actions of the coalition are aimed at bleeding this group… Here we have absolutely common goals. As for Jabhat al-Nusra [common name of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, formerly known as Nusra Front], it is a somewhat different animal, as they say, it opposes the Islamic State [Daesh], but, like the IS, it is also in the list of terrorist organizations approved by the UN Security Council. But [there is] a lot of evidence that some external players, maybe they are being silently encouraged by the US, take care of Jabhat al-Nusra… There is a suspicion that they keep it safe, so that when the IS is crushed, then they use Nusra, very combat-ready group, to fight against the Syrian government,” Lavrov said while speaking at a young experts’ forum.

He noted that Russia-US cooperation in the fight against Daesh is proceeding both through the military departments and through diplomatic channels. This issue was also discussed by the leaders of the two countries during talks at G20 Summit in Hamburg in July, the minister added.

The Syrian civil war has been raging for six years, with government forces fighting against both Syrian opposition groups, who strive to overthrow President Bashar Assad, and numerous extremist and terrorist groups such as Daesh and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham.

© Sputnik/ Vitaliy Belousov

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