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Lavrov believes US wanted to use IS, Jabhat al-Nusra to overthrow Assad

January 17, 13:10 UTC+3

"There are a lot of examples showing that the Americans and their allies sneakily wanted to use al-Nusra and the IS to weaken and finally overthrow the Assad regime," the top diplomat says

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© AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

MOSCOW, January 17. /TASS/. The United States wanted to use the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groupings (outlawed in Russia) to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov sad at an annual press conference on Tuesday.

"There are a lot of examples showing that the Americans and their allies sneakily wanted to use al-Nusra and the IS to weaken and finally overthrow the Assad regime," Lavrov said.

"That is why, they were quite reserved in implementing their stated goal of fighting against terrorism," the Russian foreign minister said.

Similarly to how Al-Qaeda emerged when the Americans supported mujahideen in the 1980s, the IS came into existence after Iraq’s occupation in 2003, Lavrov said.

"Exactly in the same way, Jabhat al-Nusra, which is one of Al Qaeda offshoots, is the most vicious, the cruelest and the most merciless terrorist force in the Syrian crisis now," he added. As the Russian foreign minister said, "it was only after the Russian air task force started to operate in Syria in September last year at the request of President Assad that the US-led coalition that had existed for a year by that time started in earnest at least somehow to bomb IS positions and deliver strikes against its infrastructure, including oilfields, which the IS used for its own financing through smuggling," the Russian foreign minister said.

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