On Wednesday, Moscow offered to meet with officials from Washington to discuss military operations that could help defeat “Islamic State” militants while also preventing potential clashes between Russian Federation soldiers and US-trained troops.
Countries including the United States, Turkey and Saudi Arabia want to see Assad gone from power and have supported the opposition to his rule during the four-year-old war, including some of the armed groups fighting him. The US has accused Russian Federation of sending military equipment and advisers to Syria as well as working to set up an airbase near the city of Latakia.
High-level military-to-military cooperation between the United States and Russian Federation continues to be suspended over the Ukrainian conflict, US State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner told journalists on Friday.
Assad said the USA , which has been leading a coalition that is carrying out airstrikes on ISIL in Syria and Iraq, refuses to work and coordinate with his government.
In his comments he made no mention of reports of Russian military activity in Syria.
However, Moscow has said that any request from Syria to send troops would be “discussed and considered”.
The war in Syria began in 2011 and has taken the lives of over 200,000 people and displaced millions.
The U.S. reassessment came as Moscow stepped-up its military assistance to the Syrian army.
Any secret deployment of troops to Syria would be illegal, said Sergei Krivenko of the Russian Human Rights Council.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov first broached the idea earlier this week in a phone call with Kerry.
The United States opposes Russia’s support for Assad, and the Pentagon previous year cut off high-level discussions with Moscow after its annexation of Crimea and intervention in Ukraine.
“We support the government of Syria in its effort to counter terrorist aggression”, Putin noted on Tuesday at a security summit in Dushanbe, the capital of the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“We’re looking for ways in which to find a common ground”, he said.
“Without an active participation of the Syrian authorities and the military, it would be impossible to expel the terrorists from that country and the region as a whole, and to protect the multi-ethnic and multi-confessional Syrian people from destruction”, Putin said.