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Syrian Minister: Iran, Russia Could Join US-led Coalition

A jihadi militant fires a heavy machine gun during fighting near the threatened Kurdish city of Kobane in Syria. Photo: AFP.
A jihadi militant fires a heavy machine gun during fighting near the threatened Kurdish city of Kobane in Syria. Photo: AFP.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Syria’s national reconciliation minister said that Iran and Russia could become part of the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State jihadis in his country and Iraq.

“There is a possibility that the coalition widens and Iran and Russia will join the efforts in coordination with both Syria and Iraq,” Ali Haidar said.

In an exclusive interview with Rudaw, he added that his government welcomed the air raids by US and allied jets.

“We support any international effort to destroy terrorist groups such as the IS and (al-Qaeda’s) al-Nusrah Front,” he said.

US air raids against the religious fanatics have been ongoing in Iraq since last month. The US and five Arab countries began pounding the IS in Syria in air raids that began only last week.

There has been greater reluctance by Western allies -- in the coalition of some 50 nations that have come together to defeat the jihadi forces – for air raids over Syria. That is because Iraq’s government had asked for the raids but the Syrian government had not.

Haidar said that, while the strikes were welcome, his government had certain conditions.

“This means that the Syrian state institutions and the Syrian army bases should not be targeted under any circumstances,” he said. “In other words, there should be complete coordination with the Syrian government.”

Haidar said his government had received prior notice of the raids.

“We were notified of the attacks in advance by our ambassador to the UN,” he said. “We also had consultations with the Iraqi government regarding the ongoing events in Syria.”

Asked about the five Arab countries that supported US fighters or joined in the first raids over Syria, Haidar said his government did not have a problem with that.

“We are not against either the Saudis or the Turks or Qataris or Jordanians, for that matter, to join the attacks on IS. These countries were the reason the IS was formed originally. If they now join the attacks on IS, then it’s a good thing.”

Haidar explained that the reason Syrian jets had not helped the Kurdish city of Kobane, against rebel assaults that were beaten off by the allied air raids, was because of Turkey.

“We have a standoff with the Turkish government and this is why our air force could not fly there close to their borders,” he said, adding that Turkey had once shot down a Syrian jet that had gotten too close.


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.... | 29/9/2014
Turkey Will bite at assads planes if they come near kobane like a dog. They want to have war with syria. And USA cant help kobane becouse of friendship with Turkey. Those strikes that hit kobane were nothing, they just shot at a empty village. So the world stop wondering why USA not help kurds in syria but help kurds in iraq.
Turkandkurd | 29/9/2014
The KRG have shown loyalty, Barzani have ignored ypg terrorists. In the future Turkey and kurdistan Will be best friends.
Anas.Brwari.Chicago.U.S | 29/9/2014
Syrian air force didn't bombard ISL terrorist gang surounding Kobane because Syrian policy isn't differ from the policy of kurdish nation occupiers, so it's a big advantage for those enemies is weakening kurdish political movement in RojVA and destroying their successful management for kurdish cantons during Syrian civil war.
PirBal | 29/9/2014
Turkey not ISIS is the worst enemy of the Kurds. Turkey is doing everything possible to prevent US from bombing ISIS in Kobane, while at the same time it helps ISIS with all kinds of logistics. I fully support PKK decision to end the bogus peace process. Let's settle our difference with the Turks through the barrel of guns. That's the only language they understand.
NH | 29/9/2014
The world is watching American bigotry as it bombs ISIS in Homs and Raqqa while letting ISIS scum bags to bomb Kobane. We Kurds will remember. If you are serious about downgrading ISIS, bomb them in Kobane. There are more than 6000 ISIS terrorist surrounding the Kurdish town with more than 50 tanks and numerous armoured vehicles. US has made a deal with Turkey to let ISIS overrun Kobane. That will never happen as long as there is a single YPG fighter left alive. We thought Turkey has changed but it is clear that Turkey will do every thing possible to destroy Kurds. Turkey is the enemy of all Kurds not just those in Rojava and Bakur.

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