23:58 GMT +319 February 2017
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    Fighters from al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate al-Nusra Front. (File)

    Lavrov: Washington Might Be Protecting al-Nusra Front as Tool to Oust Assad

    © AFP 2016/ Fadi al-Halabi / AMC
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    There are reasons to believe that Washington might be protecting al-Nusra Front terrorists in order to use them as a tool to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a joint press conference with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic in Belgrade on Monday.

    "There is a slew of examples showing that al-Nusra Front somehow evaded the US-led coalition's actions. There were and are solid reasons to believe it was being protected as the most efficient and combat-capable anti-government force on the ground so that it could be used in future to topple the legitimate leadership of Syria," Lavrov said.

    The Russian minister expressed hope that Washington would stop sheltering militants in Syria.

    Russia hopes to reach agreements with the United States on anti-terrorism efforts, but there is little progress yet, Russian Lavrov said.

    "We hope for principled agreements that we will be fighting terrorism uncompromisingly. Those who want to be part of the settlement must immediately join the ceasefire regime, while all the rest will be considered as ones subject to elimination," he said.

    "The process is proceeding slowly yet, although there is consent in principle," he said.

    Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting the Syrian opposition groups striving to overthrow Bashar Assad. Damascus is also fighting numerous extremist and terrorist groups such as the Jabhat Fatah al Sham (previously known as al-Nusra Front) and Daesh, both outlawed in the United States and Russia. According to the United Nations, 300,000 Syrians have died since the beginning of the conflict.

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    Tags:
    terrorism, The Syrian war, Al-Nusra Front, Bashar al-Assad, Sergei Lavrov, Syria, United States, Russia
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    • NATOisEVIL
      Lavrov, the whole world have known this the last couple of years. Of course they do, they aren't shy about either.
    • Jammy
      But Lavrov will still be sitting down with Kerry and eating fine food with his friend at the weekend and acting like he didn't know any of this already.

      Maybe they are working on the next play script from the book 1984 because i cannot see what is to be gained by these meetings and Russia should be training it's own "Moderate Rebels" to give the USA who is under the control of bankers from Israel a taste of it's own medicine.

      Strange how RT runs with the story on 9/11 don't you think as if they don't understand basic physics
    • avatar
      guusnaak
      Lavrov is being too polite. There is no might about it. From al-qaeda to present day version of terrorists US with their Saudi agents have been creating chaos in the region and the world.
    • avatar
      Tim - USA
      Everyone is going to have to wait until Trump actually takes office at which time the US stance will be the same as Russia's. Until then it's all about marking time and being patient.
    • landauroj
      So Lavrov has to wait for 5-years to find out this truth. Well Lavrov is pretending or is talking like the USA diplomats or Kerry.
    • Júlio César Novaes
      The Russians protect Assad and the Americans protect the rebels. The two powers are wrong. The two powers should protect civilians.
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