Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia is suspicious about Washington’s calls for Russia and the Syrian Air Force to cease their bombing runs against terrorists in Aleppo, the Russian Foreign Minister said.
“And it’s also suspicious that they call on us and the Syrian air force not to fly over Aleppo because, yes, the main force of Al-Nusra front is there, but there are also allegedly representatives of the ‘moderate opposition,’ who are surrounded and have nowhere to go except to Al-Nusra,” Lavrov said.
“So don’t touch Al-Nusra, because it is not humane in relation to the normal guys [‘moderate opposition’], and we will fight Al-Nusra later,” Lavrov said, as if mimicking Washington officials.
“And this ‘later’ never comes. [Washington] promised to separate these normal guys from Al-Nusra back in February,” he added.
“I asked Kerry if [the US] has some hidden plan to save Al-Nusra… so that at some point to make it a main force to overthrow Assad. He swore that this was untrue, and that they are really fighting Al-Nusra.”
Lavrov noted that, though US fighter jets frequently carry out attacks on Islamic State militants, the efficiency is quite low.
“US bombers very often return to the Incirlik Air Base [in Turkey] or to other bases they use, with unspent ammunition. There is a high frequency of flights, but the efficiency is very low. Some estimates put it at 15 to 20 percent,” he said.
On Saturday, the UN Security Council (UNSC) vetoed two rival resolutions proposed by Russia and France on dealing with the escalating situation in Syria, and the war-torn city of Aleppo, in particular.
Moscow is certain that Washington doesn’t want a military scenario in Syria, Lavrov said.
“I am sure that US Secretary of State john Kerry and President Barack Obama wouldn’t welcome such a move [military scenario]. Obama has repeatedly told Russian President Vladimir Putin that he stands for a political solution to the crisis,” he said.
Commenting on rumors recently appearing in the media claiming that Washington is planning to bomb Syrian army airfields, Lavrov said that Russia has assets to protect its two bases in Syria – the Khmeimim Air base and Tartus naval base.
“This is a very dangerous game, given that Russia, being in Syria at the invitation of the legitimate government of this country and having two bases there, has air defense systems there to protect its assets.”