Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday the calls on Russia to distance itself from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are short-sighted and absurd, as they disregard the need to fight against terrorism and secure a political settlement in Syria.
He told reporters that Russia considers its key goals to be the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group and a search for a political and diplomatic settlement in Syria.
“We believe that posing a question on the need to distance from Assad, without mentioning two major goals, is short-sighted,” he said.
Peskov noted that Assad is Syria’s legitimate leader under international law and is also commander-in-chief of its armed forces, which is fighting against trans-border terrorists. Russia, he said, supports Damascus in this fight.
“That’s why posing a question about Russia stopping its support of Assad, and therefore stopping backing his efforts in the fight against ISIS, sound rather absurd. This is probably related to the calls to stop our assistance in order to play into the hands of terrorists so that they could continue offensives against the legitimate authorities of Syria,” he said.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.