As a result, for months they have tacitly lived with Assad staying in power and made no bones that their focus is to combat Islamic State, also known as ISIL and ISIS, rather than push Syria’s president from power. And he says he thinks Assad may be preferable to the kind of people the U.S.is “supposed to be backing”.
The inquiry will be led by France’s war crimes body but Fabius also called on the United Nations and particularly its global Commission of Inquiry on Syria to press on with their investigations.
Speaking on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” Tuesday evening, the billionaire businessman and Republican presidential front-runner praised Russia’s recent military buildup in Syria and expressed little concern for Putin’s support for his longtime Syrian ally.
Ivanov told reporters that Russian Federation chose to help Assad in order to protect its own country from Islamic militants, not because of “some foreign policy goals or ambitions that our Western partners often accuse us of”.
“The operations of the Russian air force cannot of course go on indefinitely and will be subject to clearly prescribed time frames”.
“As our president has already said, the use of ground troops has been ruled out”.
Federation Council speaker Valentina Matvienko said earlier Wednesday that senators had begun debating the issue behind closed doors.
The last time the Russian parliament granted Putin the right to deploy troops overseas, a technical requirement under Russian law, Moscow seized Crimea from Ukraine past year.
Russian opposition, however, was rattled by the Kremlin’s request to send troops overseas and the secretive way the vote was held.
“If there will be a united coalition which I doubt, or in the end two coalitions – one American and one Russian – they will have to coordinate their actions”, Ivan Konovalov, a military expert, told Reuters.
Israel has taken similar precautions, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visiting Moscow last week to agree with Putin on a co-ordination mechanism to avoid any possible confrontation between Israeli and Russian forces in Syria.