Russia to U.S.: Join Us Fighting Terror in Syria, Or We Will Do It Unilaterally
May 22, 2016 (EIRNS)—Let us reiterate: Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made public on May 20 the following proposal for joint action had been offered by the Putin government:
"We’re proposing to the United States as a co-chairman of the International Syria Support Group to start joint operations of the Russian air task force and the U.S.-led aviation from May 25 to plan and deliver strikes against Jabhat al-Nusra groups, illegal armed formations that are rejecting the ceasefire regime, and also against the caravans with weapons and ammunition, armed units illegally crossing the Syrian-Turkish border and in these operations exclude strikes against civilian facilities and populated areas,"
"We think that adoption of these measures will allow to get to the process of a peaceful solution to the conflict within Syria. Certainly, these measures are coordinated with the leadership of the Syrian Arab Republic. Yesterday we began to coordinate these measures with our colleagues in Oman and Geneva."
Shoigu added, however, that Russia reserves the right, as of May 25,
"to conduct unilateral strikes ... on detachments of international terrorist organizations and illegal armed units that did not join the regime of cessation of hostilities."
Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis enunciated Barack Obama’s summary rejection of this offer to cooperate so as to quickly win the war: "We do not collaborate or coordinate with the Russians on any operations in Syria. Russian operations are supporting and enabling the Assad regime and our focus is solely on degrading and defeating ISIL."
Now there are the signs that the Russians are preparing for something big, as fighting against ISIS and Al Nusra intensifies. A source told Syria’s Al Masdar News service Sunday morning that air traffic at the Russian airbase in Latakia has exponentially increased, as a large number of the planes take off throughout the day. Al Masdar also reported heavy fighting between the Syrian army and jihadist groups in Idlib and Hama provinces, as well as in eastern Ghouta, where Syrian forces made advances on Jobar.