Saturday, 11 February 2017

Stars and Stripes: Former NATO general warns against Russia partnership in Syria

Stars and Stripes: Former NATO general warns against Russia partnership in Syria

WASHINGTON — The former U.S. supreme allied commander of NATO said Thursday that Russia has little interest in fighting the Islamic State group and the United States should be wary of partnering with the country in war-torn Syria.

Retired Gen. Philip Breedlove said he backs new dialogue with Moscow but warned that Russia’s operations in Syria are aimed at propping up the “savage” government of President Bashar Assad.

“I don’t see their priorities as the same as ours in any way, shape or form in Syria,” he said in testimony before the Senate. “To align ourselves with Iran and Russia in support of Mr. Assad would be very tough for me to deal with.”

His testimony comes as President Donald Trump and Congress weigh a new approach to Russia — including a major thaw in relations — amid its growing aggression, including indiscriminate bombing in Syria, an incursion into Ukraine and interference in the U.S. presidential election last year.

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