Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Kerry: If Russia Targets ISIS, "We Are Prepared To Welcome" Help

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to the United Nations Security Council about Russian military actions happening right now in Syria.

Kerry said that U.S. forces had launched "a number of strikes [in Syria] over the past 24 hours, including some just an hour ago... And these strikes will continue," even though Russian forces are also active in the area.

"We must not and we will not be confused in our fight against ISIL," Kerry said, before repeating assurances made by President Obama to Vladimir Putin earlier this week: "If Russia’s recent actions and those now ongoing reflect a genuine commitment to defeat [the Islamic State], we are prepared to welcome those efforts and find a way to deconflict and therefore multiply our efforts."

However, he said that any Russian actions that "should strike targets where ISIL and affiliated targets are not operating," would raise "grave concerns," for the U.S.

"My colleague," Kerry said, referring to Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, "has said we must support Assad to defeat ISIL. The reality is that Assad himself has rarely chosen himself to fight ISIL….Instead, it has focused all of its military power on moderate opposition groups who are fighting for a voice in Syria."

"The answer cannot be found in a military alliance with Assad."[source]

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