Russia says US is protecting jihadist Syrian rebels

Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front) is one of the more powerful rebel groups in Syria
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front) is one of the more powerful rebel groups in Syria

The US is trying to spare a jihadist group in its attempts to unseat Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, Russia’s foreign minister has told the BBC.

Sergei Lavrov said the US had broken its promise to separate the powerful Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front) and other extremist groups from more moderate rebels.
And he defended the bombardment of Aleppo by Russian and Syrian forces.

Jabhat Fateh al-Sham is linked to al-Qaeda.

Mr Lavrov was speaking to Stephen Sackur on BBC World News TV on the first anniversary of the beginning of the Russian air campaign in Syria.

“They [the US] pledged solemnly to take as a priority an obligation to separate the opposition from Nusra,” he said.

“They still, in spite of many repeated promises and commitments… are not able or not willing to do this and we have more and more reasons to believe that from the very beginning the plan was to spare Nusra and to keep it just in case for Plan B or stage two when it would be time to change the regime.”

A recent US-Russian deal was meant to lead to joint Russian-US air strikes on the Islamic State group and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.
But many of the more moderate rebel groups that the US backs have formed a strategic alliance with the more powerful Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and now fight alongside it.

Mr Lavrov said: “We believe that the Russian-American deal must be put into effect. For this the only thing which is necessary is to separate the opposition from Nusra. If it is supported by the United States, not on paper but in real life, and then we will insist on an immediate cessation of hostilities.”

The views expressed in Op-Ed pieces are those of the author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Libyan Express.
How to submit an Op-Ed: Libyan Express accepts opinion articles on a wide range of topics. Submissions may be sent to oped@libyanexpress.com. Please include ‘Op-Ed’ in the subject line.
Azara Media Azara Media
You might also like

Submit a Correction

For: Russia says US is protecting jihadist Syrian rebels

Your suggestion have been successfully submitted

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Libyan Express will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.