BRUSSELS, October 16. /TASS/. The leaders of the European Union’s member states agreed that there would be no peace in the war-torn Syria under the regime of incumbent President Bashar al-Assad and expressed concern over Russian anti-terrorism airstrikes in Syria, according to a statement from the EU.
"The Assad regime bears the greatest responsibility for the 250.000 deaths of the conflict and the millions of displaced people," the statement, released after the opening day of the EU summit in Brussels on October 15-16, said.
"There cannot be a lasting peace in Syria under the present leadership and until the legitimate grievances and aspirations of all components of Syrian society are addressed," the statement said.
The participants in the summit also voiced concern over the Russian airstrikes in Syria, saying they were targeted at civilians and the Syrian opposition fighting Assad’s regime.
"The European Council expressed its concern about the Russian attacks on the Syrian opposition and civilians and the risk of further military escalation," the statement said.
Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes at facilities of the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria on September 30. The air group comprises over 50 aircraft and helicopters, including Sukhoi Su-24M, Su-25SM, Su-30SM and state-of-the-art Su-34 aircraft. Dozens of terrorist facilities have been hit by Russian aircraft.
On October 7, four missile ships of the Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla fired 26 Kalibr cruise missiles (NATO codename Sizzler) at militants’ facilities in Syria. On October 8, the Syrian army passed to a large-scale offensive.
Russia’s Armed Forces act on a request from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Russian Federation does not plan to take part in ground operations in Syria.
The United States has criticized Russia’s operation against the Islamic State in Syria saying it is not effective. Russia says it only hits terrorist targets in the operation, which has been ongoing on a request from Assad.