14:58 GMT29 January 2020
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    The role of NATO in Syria should include providing a counter to Russia within the region, US Central Command (CENTCOM) nominee, General Joseph Votel, said in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US officials have opposed Russia’s air campaign in Syria, which began in September 2015 at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad. At that time, the Syrian government requested Russian counter-terrorism assistance to combat Daesh and other terrorist elements threatening the country.

    "NATO should continue to support the [anti-Daesh] Coalition, and present a strategic counter to an increasingly aggressive Russia," Votel said in response to the question of NATO’s role in Syria.

    In addition, Votel noted that the "best course" for NATO to pursue in Syria is to support the current cessation of hostilities, "until the international community is prepared to change its position with regard to [recognizing] the [Bashar] Assad regime."

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    Tags:
    Daesh, CENTCOM, NATO, Syria, Russia
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