WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is rejecting Russia’s military campaign in Syria, saying it fails to distinguish between terrorist groups and moderate rebel forces with a legitimate interest in a negotiated end to the civil war.
Obama made his remarks at a White House news conference Friday.
The president called Russia’s military involvement, including airstrikes that began this week, a self-defeating exercise that will move the Syrian conflict further from a solution.
Obama said Russian President Vladimir Putin has not attracted international support for his approach in Syria, which is a longstanding Russian ally. He said only Iran and Syrian President Bashar Assad are on Putin’s side, while the U.S. is leading a 60-nation international coalition against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.