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Iran Press TV

US to impose sanctions on Russia if Syria talks fail: State Dept.

Iran Press TV

Sat Oct 1, 2016 5:23PM

The United States considers imposing more sanctions on Russia, if it fails to come up with a solution to the conflict in Syria, according to a spokesperson.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Friday that Washington needs to consider putting more economic pressure on Russia in an attempt to reach an agreement with it on Syria.

"[That] is another valid option, one among many that we're looking at," Toner said, referring to anti-Russia sanctions.

The US has already imposed an array of sanctions against Russia since 2014, when clashes between the US-backed government in Kiev and pro-Russia forces erupted in eastern Ukraine. The US and EU have accused Russia of playing a role in Ukraine's conflict. Moscow, however, denies the allegations.

Toner accused Russia of making a difficult situation "more confused," by increasing military action in Syria. He said Moscow was driving militant groups closer to Daesh terrorists.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, however, accused Washington of protecting the Takfiri Jabhat Fateh al-Sham group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front.

Moscow and Washington now have a variety of disagreements over Syria, which has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. After several rounds of failed talks over the Syrian crisis, the US warned it might stop co-operating with Moscow.

A ceasefire deal, which was reached on September 9, did only last for seven days. Damascus refused to extend it after US-led air raids killed 83 of its army forces and wounded some 100 others at a military base in the eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr in violation of the truce.

The deal was meant to lead to joint Russian-US air strikes on Daesh terrorists and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham. But many of the US-backed militants, who fight against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, have now begun forming a strategic alliance with the group and fight alongside it.

In September 2014, the US and some of its allies started conducting airstrikes inside Syria against Daesh terrorists, many of whom were initially trained by the CIA to fight against the Syrian government.

Russia also launched its own air offensive one year later against the terrorists. According to analysts, The Russian campaign has broken the backbone of Daesh and other militants, and has provided the Assad government an opportunity to defeat the foreign-sponsored terrorist onslaught.

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