Obama calls for ceasefire as defeat nears: Syria needs ‘ceasefire’ to resolve crisis
US President Barack Obama says sticking to the principles of the Vienna talks on Syria notably holding a ceasefire is the only way to resolve the conflict.
Barack Obama said on Tuesday ISIL must not be given the chance to divide members of the anti-Daesh campaign, adding that that’s how terrorist groups achieve their goals.
Speaking at a joint press conference at the White House alongside French President François Hollande, Obama said during their meeting they agreed that they must share intelligence and step up coordination to defeat Daesh as it poses a serious threat to all.
“It is a scourge that threatens all of us. And that’s why, for more than a year, the United States, France and our coalition of some 60 nations have been united in one mission: to defeat these ISIL terrorists and defeat their vile ideology,” Obama said.
He added that the Daesh terror network “cannot be tolerated. It must be destroyed, and we must do it together.
“We agree that Russia could play a more constructive role if it were to shift the focus of its strikes to defeating ISIL,” said Obama.
“And likewise President Hollande and I agreed that the best way to bring peace to Syria is through the principles reaffirmed in Vienna, which require active Russian support for a ceasefire and a political transition away from [Syrian President Bashar] Assad to a democratically elected government that can unite the Syrian people against terrorism,” he said.
“Russia is welcome to be part of this broad-based coalition that we’ve set up,” he said.
He added that the current Russian airstrikes in Syria are bolstering the Syrian president as they are targeting “moderate” opposition.
Hollande for his part said that a joint response was needed against Daesh. He added that France can work with Russia if it concentrates its military campaign against the terrorist group.
Obama and Hollande made the remarks in the wake of last week’s Paris attacks that reportedly killed at least 130 people and injured hundreds more.
ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, have claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks in France.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. The United States and its regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – have been supporting the militants operating inside Syria since the beginning of the crisis.
Russia has been conducting airstrikes on Daesh positions at the request of the Syrian government since September 30.