US, Russia cooperation essential in battling DAESH

European Council President Donald Tusk says cooperation between US, Russia in Syria is essential in fighting DAESH

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

US President Barack Obama shakes hands with President of the European Council Donald Tusk as members of the G20 prepare for the traditional family photo during the G20 leaders summit in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, Turkey, November 15, 2015.

President of the European Council Donald Tusk said on Sunday during the G20 Summit that both the United States and Russia must find a way to cooperate in their fight against DAESH in Syria, stressing that Russia needs to focus its aerial bombardments on the terrorist group, rather than the Syrian opposition.

Russia’s continuous air strikes on the opponents of the regime leader Bashar al Assad, has only increased the influx of refugees fleeing to Europe, Tusk said during the G20 Summit in Turkish coastal province of Antalya.

"It should be our common aim to coordinate our actions against DAESH and for sure the cooperation between the US and Russia is a crucial one," Tusk added.

"But we need not only more cooperation, but also more good will, especially from Russian action on the ground in Syria. It must be focused more on Islamic State and not - because we cannot accept it - against the moderate Syrian opposition," he continued.

This year alone, Europe is faced with 1 million asylum-seekers from the Middle East and Africa, mainly due to the ongoing Syrian conflict, which sees DAESH, Assad forces and the Syrian opposition fighting in the war-torn country.

With Moscow entering the fight a month and a half ago, Assad’s power on the ground has grown, as Russian air strikes target mainly areas controlled by forces opposed to its long-term ally, Assad, instead of targeting DAESH.

"We have no doubt that from actions against the Syrian opposition the only result will be a new wave of refugees and we have started seeing that, in fact it has started," Tusk said.

"This is why the cooperation between Russia and other countries, especially the United States, is so important also in this context of the refugee crisis," he added.

TRTWorld and agencies