Putin doesn’t care about warnings from Obama……
President Barack Obama warned Russia on Friday against doubling down on sending support for Syrian President Bashar Assad, casting recent buildup of Russian military equipment and personnel in Syria in an effort to help prop up the embattled leader.
“The strategy they’re pursuing right now of doubling down on Assad is a mistake,” Obama said during a town hall with U.S. military personnel.
Russia denies it’s trying to build up Assad’s military and instead has claimed its increased military presence is part of an international effort to help defeat the Islamic State. Russian Foreign Miniser Sergey Lavrov called on world powers to join Russia in that pursuit, arguing that Syria’s army is the most efficient force to fight extremists in the Middle East.
You cannot defeat Islamic State with air strikes only,” Lavrov said, a clear dig at the White House’s strategy. “It’s necessary to cooperate with ground troops and the Syrian army is the most efficient and powerful ground force to fight the IS.”
Reuters reported Friday that Russia also called for military-to-military cooperation with the U.S. to avert “unintended incidents.” Washington says Russia’s presence is making matters in Syria worse.
“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 failure,” he said at a Maryland event.
Russia’s recent support of Assad has dampened U.S. officials’ hopes that Moscow was tiring of the Syrian president. Syria has been dripped by a long-lasting civil war for more than four years, a conflict that has claimed more than 250,000 lives and created a vacuum for extremism to thrive.