7 years ago

Assad would welcome Russian support for anti-ISIL rebels - Putin

euronews (in English)
euronews (in English)
A grand coalition against ISIL militants in Syria is an initiative that Moscow would like to see and it would not displease Damascus, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He told a forum in the Russian city of Sochi that his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad would welcome any future Russian backing for rebel groups taking on the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

Speaking after their surprise meeting in Moscow earlier this week, Putin said he asked Assad how he would view an armed opposition force that was genuinely ready to combat Islamic State militants.

He said he asked Assad: ‘How would you react if we support their efforts in the fight against terrorism in the same way as we are supporting the Syrian army?

“He answered positively,” Putin revealed.

The Russian President added: “We are now thinking about this and are trying, if it works out, to reach these agreements.”

Putin’s comments reflect a growing sense in the Kremlin and beyond that Russia has a better cha
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