Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believes the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group may have “other purposes” rather than eliminating the terrorist group.
Lavrov said in an interview that some members of the coalition claimed that the U.S. commander had not agreed to deliver a strike at times even being aware of specific ISIS locations.
"Our American counterparts either from the very beginning were establishing the coalition not enough thoroughly, or the idea was it should have the goals other from those declared," Russian news agency Tass quoted Lavrov as saying. "The coalition was formed very spontaneously: within just a few days they declared it was ready, certain countries have joined, and they began some strikes."
According to Lavrov, analyzing aviation causes of the coalition gives “weird impressions.” He said there were “suspicions” that the coalition had other goals “besides the declared goal of fighting the Islamic State.”
Lavrov, however, said that the impressions about other intentions were not clear, adding that he did not want to make any conclusions as the U.S. commander might have “higher ideas.”
The Russian minister said the West had refused to involve Syrian President Assad in the fight against ISIS terrorists. He said it was “absurd” to exclude the Syrian army from the fight as the government military was the most effective force on the ground.
Russia, a strong supporter of the Assad regime unlike many of its Western counterparts, has said it would continue sending military supplies to Syria. Lavrov said that Moscow would also send “Russian specialists” to help “adjust” military equipment, Al Jazeera reported.
According to Lavrov, France and the U.K. regularly delivered airstrikes against ISIS militants on the Syrian territory while Australia had also agreed to join the air strikes there. However, no country has asked permission from Syria, he said.