7 years ago

US cautions Russia against fanning flames of Syria war

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US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday that he would talk to his Russian counterpart again about Moscow’s military intentions in Syria, but cautioned that if the Russians insist on fighting the Islamic State without simultaneously pursuing a political solution to Syria’s civil war they will be “pouring gasoline” on the conflict.
Carter said the Obama administration is concerned that Russia could use the warplanes and other military force it has recently assembled in Syria to attack the Islamic State or the moderate Syrian rebels who are fighting against the government of President Bashar Assad.
Carter declined to say whether he believes the Russian buildup is intended to undertake airstrikes or other offensive military action.
“We’re going to be talking to them about their intentions both on the political track and the military track,” Carter said.
He spoke to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu last Friday, and afterward Pentagon officials said it remained unclear how the Russians intend to use their military in Syria.

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