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    Syrians walk amid the rubble of destroyed buildings following reported air strikes by regime forces in the rebel-held area of Douma, east of the capital Damascus, on August 30, 2015

    US Urges Russia to Find 'Constructive Way’ to Support Anti-ISIL Fight

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    The United States will continue to try and persuade Russia to find a different way of supporting efforts against ISIL in Syria than providing assistance to the Syrian government of Bashar Assad, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a briefing on Friday.

    WASHINGTON, (Sputnik) — Earlier on Friday, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu agreed in a telephone conversation to continue discussions to ensure a peaceful resolution to crisis in Syria.

    "We are going to continue to encourage Russia to find a constructive way to support ongoing counter-ISIL [Islamic State] operations inside of Syria," Earnest said.

    It was the first conversation between the military leaders since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014.

    Earnest said that the military-to-military cooperation that the two countries seek to restart is "cooperation at a practical, tactical level," which is different from the relations that existed prior to the conflict in Ukraine.

    Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that Moscow was providing considerable support to Syria in equipment, weapons and training to fight ISIL and other terrorists.

    Russia, unlike many Western countries, considers President Assad and his government are the legitimate authority in Syria.

    US officials have raised concerns about Russia’s presence in Syria, saying it could empower the Assad government.

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    Tags:
    Daesh, extremist, Earnest, Bashar al-Assad, Syria, Russia, United States
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