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Lavrov Rebukes U.S. ‘Double Standard’ Approach to Fighting Terrorists in Syria

Oct. 4, 2017 (EIRNS)—In an interview with the London-based, Arabic-language daily Asharq Al-Awsat, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that the U.S.-led coalition and the Syrian rebel forces they support, consistently act in a way that helps Islamic State and other terrorist groups.

"In some cases, these forces mount allegedly accidental strikes against the Syrian Armed Forces, after which Islamic State counterattacks. In other cases, they inspire other terrorists to attack strategic locations over which official Damascus has restored its legitimate authority, or to stage fatal provocations against our military personnel,"

Lavrov said.

While firmly reiterating Russia’s desire "to establish real coordination" with the Trump administration, including "in the area of counter-terrorism," Lavrov characterized Washington’s current policy as guided by "double standards" in Syria.

"We are concerned over—and we have spoken openly of this concern of ours—the tactic of half-measures pursued by the United States and their allies. If you apply double standards, divide terrorists into ‘bad’ and ‘very bad,’ force others to enter the coalition on political motives, forgetting about the necessary UN sanction to approve these actions, then it’s hard to speak about the effectiveness of an anti-terror campaign,"

he said. (The full translation of the interview is available on the website of Russia’s Embassy in the United Kingdom.)

Similarly, Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressing the participants of the 16th meeting of foreign intelligence, security, and law enforcement chiefs that the Federal Security Service (FSB), which opened in Kranosdar today, warned against such "double standards," without naming the United States. He said:

"We support an integrated approach to countering terrorism, the spread of its ideology and funding illegal armed groups, as well as rejection of the double-standard policy in the fight against the major modern threat,"

TASS reported.

Joint efforts against international terrorism are needed, Putin insisted; militants have "started creating new strongholds in other states and regions," and the return of militants "who passed ideological brainwashing and sabotage training in armed conflict areas" abroad are returning to their countries to continue conducting terrorist activities.