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Iran Press TV

US military should both target Assad and Daesh: Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman

Iran Press TV

Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:0PM

Republican Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says the Pentagon should target both the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group.

Corker's comments came shortly after Russia carried out its first airstrikes on Wednesday against ISIL terrorists near the Syrian city of Homs.

'Assad is the singular pull for ISIS in the region,' Corker said, referring to the terrorist group which was reportedly created by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to destabilize the Middle East region, particularly Syria and Iraq.

Corker claimed that Moscow is escalating its support for the Assad government because it thinks Washington will not do anything to stop it.

Speaking at the Washington Ideas Forum on Wednesday, the Republican lawmaker said Russian President Vladimir Putin "sees no pushback, no price to pay.'

Russia began conducting airstrikes in Syria on Wednesday, saying that its fighter jets are targeting terrorists in Syria.

The Russian leader said on Wednesday that preemptive airstrikes against terrorists are the best way to fight international terrorism.

"The only correct way to fight international terrorism... is to act preemptively, to battle and destroy fighters and terrorists on the territories they have already seized, not to wait for them to come to us," Putin said.

Corker, however, claimed that the Russian warplanes hit targets other than ISIL as well. "They're even hitting rebels...not people affiliated with ISIS."

He slammed the Obama administration for what he called missing opportunities in Syria.

'We have missed opportunities,' the Foreign Relations chairman said, claiming that there was a 10-hour operation planned.

'No boots on the ground... That could have really changed the momentum at a time when we really did have a moderate opposition," he stated.

'By us not taking that action, it took the wind out of their sails,' he said. 'That was the biggest moment of opportunity...and that was mishandled.'

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. The United States and its regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey - have been supporting the militants operating inside Syria since the beginning of the crisis.

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