For the past several months, there have been reports that the US is increasingly coming on board with Russian calls for a “unity government” made up of the current Syrian government and secular rebels to fight against ISIS. It was therefore unsurprising that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov brought the matter up again in comments today.
The US has let such comments come and go several times, but today angrily rejected the report, saying that America’s position on Syria, and its opposition to Russia’s involvement in the fight against ISIS, remain wholly unchanged.
In the past couple of weeks the US has been railing against Russia’s military aid to the Syrian government, and has been trying to position itself as even more averse to the survival of the existing government than usual, irrespective of the “pro-US faction” that the US intends to install as the new government largely being non-existent.
State Department spokesman John Kirby insisted today that Russia’s support for the Syrian government, the largest secular faction fighting ISIS in Syria, “runs counter to any meaningful role” in fighting against ISIS. Russia maintains that its aid to Syria’s government hasn’t changed over the course of the entire civil war, and will not change irrespective of US opposition. They maintain that all the aid provided in recent days is in keeping with long-standing defense contracts.