WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States will have a long discussion with the Russian government about its activities in Syria, while continuing to focus on defeating the Islamic State in the region, President Barack Obama said on Friday.
"That won’t change our core strategy, which is to continue to put pressure on ISIL in Iraq and Syria, but we are going to be engaging Russia to let them know that you can’t continue to double down on a strategy that is doomed to fail," Obama told US service members via a global broadcast. "This is going to be a long discussion that we will be having with the Russians."
On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said Russia would continue the delivery of defense equipment to be used in counter-terrorism efforts.
Also on Friday, US State Department spokesperson John Kirby stated that the United States would welcome Russia’s "constructive role" in the fight against ISIL. He added, however, that Moscow should not try to strengthen Assad.
Obama argued it will be impossible to arrive at cease-fire agreement in the Syrian conflict as long as Assad is president.
Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the United States has supported the overthrow of the Assad government, while Russia has recognized Assad as the legitimate Syrian authority.