BERLIN (Sputnik) — Unlike the West, Moscow maintains that Assad is the legitimate authority in the country. but has said it is prepared to work with opposition factions to counter the Islamic State terrorists.
"We will closely monitor whether the Russian army is indeed fighting against radical Islamist groups and whether Russia is ready to go a common way and help form a transitional government… This will be our task for the next days and weeks," Steinmeier said following a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council.
Earlier, the German foreign minister said Russia’s operation in Syria complicated an already challenging political settlement process in the country.
Russia’s Sukhoi Su-25, Su-24M and Su-34 attack aircraft, with the support of Su-30 jets, commenced precision airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria on September 30, following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Earlier in October, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad confirmed that Syrian Army strikes, supported by the Russian Air Force, were carried out against armed terrorist organizations and not political opposition factions or civilians.