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Iran Press TV

'FSA' militants in Syria turn down Russia's offer of help against Daesh

Iran Press TV

Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:56PM

The foreign-backed so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) militant group, which is fighting in Syria, says it does not accept Russia's help against the rival terror group Daesh.

'Russia is bombing the Free Syrian Army and now it wants to cooperate with us, while it remains committed to [Syrian President Bashar] Assad? We don't understand Russia at all!' said Lieutenant Colonel Ahmad Saoud, a spokesman for Division 13 of the FSA, on Saturday.

Since a foreign-backed crisis erupted in Syria in March 2011, an assortment of militant groups, including the Daesh Takfiri terrorists and the FSA, have been formed in the country with the ultimate purpose of overthrowing the Syrian government. However, the militant groups have frequently turned on each other and engaged in infighting in a power struggle and over resources.

Russia kicked off its bombing campaign in Syria on September 30 at the request of the Syrian government, saying it targets positions of Daesh and other terrorists in the country.

The so-called Syrian National Coalition also rejected Russia's offer, with a spokesman saying that Moscow should "stop bombing" the Western-backed militants "instead of talking about their willingness to support the Free Syrian Army."

"Eighty percent of the Russian strikes are targeting the FSA," Samir Nashar said.

The comments came in reaction to remarks by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier Saturday, when he announced the Kremlin's readiness to lend support to Syria's "patriotic opposition, including the so-called Free Syrian Army, from the air."

The top Russian diplomat added in his interview with Rossiya 1 television station that he hopes to see a move toward presidential and parliamentary elections in Syria.

"I am convinced that most serious politicians have learned their lessons and with regards to Syria a correct understanding of the situation is developing," he said.

Nashar, meanwhile, denounced the proposal of new elections as absurd and called for the departure of President Assad.

Syrians took part in presidential election in June 2014 and Assad managed to win the polls with 88.7 percent of the vote. The Arab country is set to hold parliamentary elections next year.

More than 250,000 people have been killed by militancy in Syria since March 2011.

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