- Title: Russia says suspects West wants to use militant group to topple Assad
- Date: 21st October 2016
- Summary: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (OCTOBER 21, 2016) (REUTERS) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEI LAVROV AND GUATEMALA FOREIGN MINISTER CARLOS RAUL MORALES ARRIVING AT NEWS CONFERENCE CLOSE OF DETAIL ON GUATEMALA FLAG LAVROV AND MORALES REPORTER ASKING QUESTION (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING: "I have already had an opportunity to say that we have suspicions that there is a preconceived intention to preserve Jabhat al-Nusra as the most combat effective force and there is someone who probably wants to use it ultimately to topple the regime in Damascus regime using force. It is a deplorable fact, because this is in direct violation of the U.N. resolution adopted first of all on the basis of Russian and U.S. incentives." WIDE OF NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING: "The Arabic Republic of Syria is a sovereign state, it is a member state of the United Nations and possesses full sovereignty over its territory and air space." RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON MARIA ZAKHAROVA LOOKING ON (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING: "As far as information on air strikes which the Turkish air forces inflict over northern part of Syria - we have heard about them, we are very worried about what is happening there. As I understand, the strikes are taking place in regions that have a Kurdish population. In this respect I want to say the following - Turkey is a member of the same coalition which was set up by the United States, which had made it clear that the coalition was formed with the only objective of fighting against the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra." LAVROV AND MORALES LEAVING
- Embargoed: 5th November 2016 11:34
- Keywords: Russia Lavrov Syria mideast crisis Nusra Front Assad Turkey Aleppo
- Location: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- City: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA00154Y6Q87
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday (October 21) he suspected the West wanted to protect a Syrian militant group formerly known as Nusra Front because it wanted to use it to try to topple President Bashar al-Assad one day.
Lavrov also said that militants belonging to the group were refusing to leave the besieged city of Aleppo.
He added that Moscow was very concerned by reports that Turkey was bombing parts of northern Syria.
When asked what Russia thought about a Syrian government threat to shoot down Turkish war planes violating its air space, he said Syria was a sovereign nation.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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