LONDON, 9 October. /Corr. Igor Brovarnik/. Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko has been asked by the British foreign office to assist in establishing contacts with so-called free Syrian army (FSA) to coordinate efforts with the armed forces of Syria in fight against terrorist group “Islamic state” (IG).
This information was circulated on Thursday evening, the Russian Embassy in London.
“The Russian side would be grateful to British partners for assistance in establishing contacts with the FSA on the subject of coordination between it and the armed forces of Syria in fight against ISIS, as well as the possible involvement of the SAA in the political process”, – stated in the message.
“The Russian side noted the need to consolidate international efforts to effectively counter the coming from ISIS and other terrorist groups threat. The sides were unanimous that counterterrorism efforts must proceed in parallel with joint work on the promotion of a political settlement of the Syrian crisis,” – noted in the Embassy.
The position of the Russian Federation
On 7 October, the official representative of the Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said that Russia is ready to establish contacts with the leadership of the “Syrian free army”, including in order to help unite its efforts against terrorists with the efforts of the government troops.
We don’t know where she (Syrian national army) and who leads it, but assuming that it’s military wing so-called healthy part of the opposition, if it were possible to unite the efforts in struggle against the common enemy, terrorist organizations, ISIL, “jabhat al-al – Nusra” and others of that ilk, we would then have created good preconditions for an eventual political settlement in Syria
the President of the Russian Federation
“In accordance with the position expressed by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, the Russian side is ready through the Ministry of defence to join forces with the army of Syria and the “Free Syrian army” in the fight against “Islamic state” and other terrorist groups, including in the context of coordination with the actions of the Russian aviation,” she said.
“On behalf of the President of the Russian MFA informs our partners in countries with ties to the “Syrian free army”, about the readiness of the Russian side to establish contacts with the leadership of this structure in order to discuss the possibility of its connection to the establishment of conditions for starting a process of political settlement of the Syrian crisis through talks between the Syrian government and the Patriotic opposition, the diplomat stressed. – The foreign Ministry will continue to liaise with the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition to help it consolidate on this platform”, – said Zakharov.
The Statement Of The State Department
The U.S. state Department a realistic unification of the efforts of the army of Syria’s President Bashar Assad and the Syrian free army in the fight against ISIS, said the head of the press service of U.S. state Department John Kirby at a regular press briefing.
“I have not seen messages about it. I can’t imagine how it could be a realistic solution. It’s even harder when you drop bombs on them, the free Syrian army,” he said, answering a question of journalists.
What is the “Syrian free army”
“Free Syrian army” (FSA) was established in Turkey in July 2011 from the soldiers and officers who deserted from the ranks of the Syrian national armed forces and belonging to the Sunni denomination. It was headed by Colonel Riad al-Asaad.
Some estimates put the number of fighters the SAA has reached 150 thousand persons, of which up to 50 thousand included in various extremist Islamic groups. 22 September 2012, the FSA announced its decision to relocate from Turkey to areas of Syria under rebel control.
25 September 2013, some Islamist groups associated with “al-Qaeda”, came from the free Syrian army and called upon all opponents of President Bashar al-Assad to unite on the basis of Islam and Sharia guide. SSA began to wage war not only against government forces but also against Islamic militants.
Who’s who in the Syrian opposition. Dossier