03:04 GMT06 March 2021
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    Syria’s UN ambassador on Wednesday said Russia had every right to carry out airstrikes against the Islamic State militants in his country.

    “Why are the Americans fighting ISIL with their fighter jets and the Russians should be forbidden from that?” Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari told reporters, “Does it make sense? It doesn’t make sense.”

    “After all, we are fighting the same enemy,” he added.

    The Syrian envoy also said that Russia’s military assistance to Damascus was coming as part of the longtime defense cooperation between the two countries.

    President Barack Obama would welcome constructive Russian support for its efforts to create an anti-Islamic State collation in Syria, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Seprember 16.

    Earnest said the White House would welcome an "integrated, coordinated constructive effort from Russia" to support the US-led coalition in Syria.

    "We have been quite clear about welcoming Russia’s constructive support for the anti-[Islamic State] coalition in Iraq and Syria," he added.

    Earlier on Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov proposed to him in a Tuesday phone conversation that Washington and Moscow should hold bilateral military talks on the crisis in Syria.

    Kerry added that the White House, the Department of State and the Department of Defense were currently considering the proposal.

    Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with Assad’s government fighting against many opposition factions and militant groups, such as Islamic State.

    Since 2014, an international coalition led by the United States has been conducting airstrikes against IS militants without approval from Damascus, as the West does not recognize Assad as the legitimate leader of Syria. The coalition has also been training the so-called moderate opposition.

    The prolonged military action in Syria has contributed to a global refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people flocking to Europe in a bid to secure asylum.


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