KyivPost

Russia: Fighters on Syrian-Turkish border may be al Qaeda allies

Print version
July 25, 2012, 5:18 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed doubt over claims that border gates captured from government forces on the Syrian side of the frontier had been seized by the rebel Free Syrian Army.
© AP

Reuters

MOSCOW - Russia said on Wednesday that militants who have seized control of posts on Syria's border with Turkey may be allies of al Qaeda. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed doubt over claims that border gates captured from government forces on the Syrian side of the frontier had been seized by the rebel Free Syrian Army.

"According to some information, these checkpoints were seized not by the Free Syrian Army at all - whatever one thinks about it - but by groups directly linked with al Qaeda," Lavrov said at a news conference with his Cypriot counterpart.

"We are double-checking this," said Lavrov, suggesting that Western nations should not rush to celebrate territorial gains by opponents of President Bashar al-Assad's government.

"If such processes - the seizure of territory by terrorists - are supported by our partners, then we would like to receive an answer to the question of what their position on Syria is, what they are trying to achieve in that country," he said.

Moscow has repeatedly accused Western nations of encouraging Assad's opponents and said they must put more pressure on rebels to stop the violence in Syria, warning that some of those fighting government forces are extremist militants.

Lavrov's remarks about the border gates came after he accused the United States on Wednesday of trying to justify terrorism against the Syrian government.

Russia has faced vehement Western criticism for vetoing three U.N. Security Council resolutions intended to increase pressure on Assad to stop 16 months of violence. 

The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively public debate through the Disqus system. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. The Kyiv Post will ban flagrant violators. If you think that a comment or commentator should be banned, please flag the offending material.
comments powered by Disqus

KyivPost

© 1995–2014 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the www.kyivpost.com material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at news@kyivpost.com
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.