Friday, 5 February 2016

NATO: Russian Strikes ‘Undermining’ Syria Peace Efforts

NATO head Jens Stoltenberg said Friday that Russia's air strikes in SyriNATO Chief Jens Stoltenberga targeting Takfiri insurgents are "undermining" efforts to find a non-military solution to the war.

"What we have seen is that the intense Russian air strikes mainly targeting opposition groups in Syria are undermining the efforts to find a political solution to the conflict," Stoltenberg said as he arrived for talks in Amsterdam with EU defense ministers.

UN Special envoy to Syria Stephan De Mistura earlier announced that the suspension of peace talks taking place in Geneva.

The UN Security Council is due to meet later Friday to discuss the situation, with the negotiations on hold until February 25.

Stoltenberg said NATO strongly supported efforts to end the war in Syria, which has cost more than 250,000 lives and displaced half the population, many of them fleeing to Europe in its worst migrant crisis since World War II.

He said the air strikes and Moscow's military build-up in Syria and the eastern Mediterranean were a challenge for the US-led alliance and especially for key member Turkey, whose airspace Russian planes have violated.

"The increased Russian presence (and) air activity in Syria is also causing increased tensions and violations of Turkish airspace," he said.

"This creates risks and heightens tensions and is of course a challenge for NATO," he added.
Under the request of the Syrian government, Russia has been since September 30 launching bombing campaign against Takfiri terrorists across Syria.

Source: AFP
05-02-2016 - 13:19 Last updated 05-02-2016 - 13:19

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