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Iran Press TV

'FSA' says ready to hold talks with Russia over Syrian crisis in Cairo

Iran Press TV

Sun Oct 25, 2015 5:54PM

The so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) militant group, which is operating against the Syrian government, has expressed readiness to hold talks with Russia on the crisis in Syria in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

"The Free Syrian Army is ready for dialogue with Russia. We need to organize a new meeting, so that we can present our position and discuss our collective actions," Fahad al-Masri, one of the founders of the foreign-backed militant group, told Russian RIA Novosti news agency on Sunday.

The representative of the militant group said that the talks will be on how Russia can help the FSA.

"We have proposed to hold the meeting in Cairo, Egypt, but haven't received an answer yet. We haven't proposed any dates but announced our readiness for the meeting. And I believe that it is in the interests of Russia and FSA to hold this meeting as soon as possible," the FSA representative said.

Masri, however, expressed the FSA's opposition to the Russian airstrikes on "Syrian provinces, in particular the Homs Province, where there are many FSA divisions."

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

Masri further said that if Moscow "continues the bombing," it will "weaken" the FSA and will "strengthen" other groups.

The development comes as Lieutenant Colonel Ahmad Saoud, a spokesman for Division 13 of the FSA, said on Saturday that the foreign-backed militant group 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!" the spokesman said.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had earlier on Saturday announced the Kremlin's readiness to lend support to Syria's "patriotic opposition, including the so-called Free Syrian Army, from the air."

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 sprouted in the country with the purpose of overthrowing the Syrian government.

More than 250,000 people have been killed in the militancy in Syria since the crisis broke out there.

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