Syrian Deputy FM: “US-Led Coalition’s Air Raids Strengthen ISIL”
The air raids “were not effective and they in fact achieved nothing,” Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad told Japan’s Kyodo news agency in a Sunday interview.
ISIL “has become stronger in both Iraq and Syria under the American war against terrorism,” Miqdad said.
He also highlighted that cooperation with the Syrian government is essential for all parties engaged in the fight against ISIL terrorists.
Since late September 2014, the US, along with some of its allies, has purportedly been conducting airstrikes against ISIL extremists inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
The airstrikes in Syria are an extension of the US-led aerial campaign against alleged ISIL positions in Iraq, which started in August last year. Many have criticized the ineffectiveness of the raids.
This is while the US and some of its regional allies, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have lent staunch support to the Takfiri groups fighting against Syria’s government.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Miqdad said Syria has not yet demanded the deployment of Russian troops to Syria, adding, however, that Damascus will not hesitate to make such a request depending on future developments in the crisis-hit Arab country.
“Russian military support does help… the Syrian army advance in the struggle against terrorists,” he said.
On Thursday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem had said Damascus would ask Moscow, if necessary, to send its troops to fight against the terrorists along with the Syrian army.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later told reporters that Russia will consider Syria’s request to send military forces if such a demand is made by Damascus.
Syria has been wrestling with deadly violence since March 2011, with reports saying more than 240,000 people killed in the conflict; Press TV reported.