RIA NOVOSTI – October 23, 2014
MOSCOW, October 23 (RIA Novosti) – Islamic State (IS) fighters are seizing US-made weapons destined for the Kurdish forces because Washington is refusing to cooperate with Damascus in its anti-terror operation, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich said Thursday.
“There is no coordination between the [anti-terror] coalition and Damascus, since Washington persistently refuses to recognize the government of Bashar Assad as a partner in the combat against terrorism. As a result, the IS fighters seize weapons the US Air Force aircraft are dropping for the Kurdish squads,” the official said at a press briefing.
The diplomat also noted that the US-led airstrikes against the insurgents have failed to achieve any significant success.
He argued that Syrian aircraft are performing over 150 air strikes on a daily basis, while the “so-called coalition with its broad opportunities limits itself to 10 to 15 or sometimes five to seven strikes a day.”
Following the proclamation of a caliphate on the captured swathes of Iraq and Syria by the IS, the United States resorted to military action.
Washington launched airstrikes against the insurgents in Iraq in August and extended its attacks to Syria the following month, though without requesting an approval from the Syrian government, which the West considers illegitimate.
US President Barack Obama formed a large international coalition to fight terrorism in the Middle East, many members of which, including its Arab allies, the United Kingdom and France, are taking part in the airstrikes. Russia has expressed an unwillingness to join any coalitions that bypass the United Nations.