Airstrikes useless if not coordinated with Damascus: Syrian FM

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Syria's foreign minister Walid al-Moualem concludes his address to attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York, October 2, 2015. (AP)

ARA News

DAMASCUS – The value of political negotiations over Syria is questionable and airstrikes against militants are useless if they are not coordinated with the Syrian government, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Friday.

Al-Moualem told the United Nations General Assembly: “Terrorism cannot be fought only from the air, and all of the previous operations to combat it have only served its spread and outbreak.”

“Air strikes are useless unless they are conducted in cooperation with the Syrian army, the only force in Syria that is combating terrorism,” he said. 

The U.S.-led coalition’s warplanes have been striking positions of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Syria for more than a year.

In the meantime, Russian forces on Friday conducted their third round of airstrikes in Syria in coordination with the Assad regime. Russia started its military operations in Syria under the pretext of combatting ISIS militant group, while its forces are mainly targeting anti-Assad rebel forces in the war-torn country.

Al-Moualem stressed that political negotiations alone won’t help resolving the crisis in his country.

“No one should think that, after all these sacrifices and steadfastness for more than four years, they could obtain through politics what they could not win in the field, or that they will achieve at the negotiating table what they failed to achieve on the ground,” the Syrian FM said.

“Syria cannot implement any democratic political measures related to elections, a constitution or the like, while terrorism is striking at home and threatens innocent civilians in the country,” he added.

Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi 

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