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Lavrov: U.S.-led Coalition Protecting Al Nusra Terrorists in Syria

Sept. 11, 2017 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov charged today that the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition is protecting the Nusra Front, the Al Qaeda franchise in Syria. Speaking in Amman, Jordan, during a joint press conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al Safadi, Lavrov said that the situation around Al Nusra in Syria remains "very ambiguous," as some members of the U.S.-led coalition are constantly trying to protect militants from being eliminated.

"They [the U.S.] did not have the spirit or the courage or the ability to dissociate Jabhat al-Nusra from those oppositionists [of Syria] with which the U.S. side cooperated. This is absolutely unacceptable,"

Lavrov said, reported Sputnik.

At the same time, however, Reuters reported that, in southern Syria, two Free Syrian Army groups said that they have been asked to withdraw into Jordan, now that the United States is no longer supporting their campaign against Assad. The two groups said they were told to end fighting in the area by their backers from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and neighboring states that support them, which include Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Western diplomatic sources told Reuters that the request was tied to the decision by President Donald Trump in July to halt CIA support of armed opposition groups fighting to overthrow the government of Bashar al Assad. The commanders in both groups have rejected the request; they say they would rather "stay and die" in the desert than leave the battlefield, because they consider withdrawal into Jordan to be the end of their campaign.

It’s quite likely that the policy battle both within and outside the Trump administration over "regime-change" in Syria is still playing out and that this is what Lavrov’s remarks indicate.