Syria ready to join international anti-ISIL bid: Russia
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Damascus would agree to be a part of the international coalition against ISIL Takfiri terrorists in case it receives such a request.
“Iraq’s government has agreed [to join anti-ISIL coalition]; the Syrian government has never been requested, though, I am sure, if Damascus were approached, it could agree,” Lavrov told Rossiya-1 television channel on Sunday.
Russia’s top diplomat also lashed out at Washington and certain regional countries for their hypocritical disregard of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in their alleged fight against terrorism.
“It is another example of double standards — for the purposes of eliminating the chemical weapon, Assad was quite a legitimate counterpart, but for fighting terrorism — for some reason — no,” he added.
He also rejected as illogical allegations that the Syrian government is cooperating with ISIL. “Common sense says it is impossible, as it is unacceptable to allow the thought someone is cooperating with an organization, which aspires assumption of power at huge territories, not at all exclusively in the Middle East or North Africa,” Lavrov underscored.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Russia’s top diplomat cast doubt on the legitimacy of the US-led coalition against ISIL, saying the United Nations Security Council should enter the equation in order to resolve the “ambiguities” of the campaign.
“We would not have any ambiguities — who is shelling who, why and despite of whose positions” if UN coordinates the mission, he stated, adding, “In that case, we could have complete respect for the UN Charter, for the international law — all the principles, which (are) in compliance with the UN Charter should make a basis for any force actions.”
Syria has been fighting against massive foreign-sponsored militancy since early 2011. The conflict has reportedly killed an estimated 240,000 people so far, including nearly 12,000 children.