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Obama: Russia's strikes in Syria 'strengthening ISIL'


Syria

Obama: Russia's strikes in Syria 'strengthening ISIL'

US President Barack Obama says that Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria will only strengthen ISIL militants.

He claims Moscow is failing to distinguish between the so-called Islamic State and more moderate insurgents.

An approach Obama describes as a “recipe for disaster.”

“The reason Assad is still in power is because Russia and Iran have supported him. The moderate opposition in Syria is one that, if we are ever going to have a political transition, we need,” said the president.

“And the Russian policy is driving those folks underground or creating a situation in which they are decapacitated and it’s only strengthening ISIL.”

Obama said Russia risks being sucked into a quagmire it will find hard to get out of.

He also stressed that he does not want to turn the Syrian conflict into a “proxy war” between Washington and Moscow.

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