Russia's Lavrov: Syria Airstrikes Won't Stop Until Terrorists Defeated

Russian foreign minister says difficult to impose a cease-fire unless Syria's border with Turkey is secured to prevent smuggling and the movement of fighters.

This handout photo taken on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015 provided by the Russian Defense Press Service, shows a Russian Su-25 ground attack jet parked at the Hemeimeem air base in Syria.
AP

REUTERS - Russia will not stop its airstrikes on Syria until armed groups, such as Al-Qaida's wing there, are defeated, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Russia should stop bombing opposition forces in Syria now that UN-led peace talks have started.

"Russian strikes will not cease until we really defeat terrorist organizations like Jabhat al-Nusra. And I don't see why these airstrikes should be stopped," he said at a news conference in Oman's capital Muscat.

Lavrov also said it would be difficult to impose a cease-fire unless Syria's border with Turkey was secured to prevent smuggling and the movement of fighters.

"Regarding a cease-fire, we have pragmatic ideas and we talked with the Americans who head the Syria support group and we look forward to discussing these ideas at the meeting on February 11," Lavrov said, referring to the International Syria Support Group that is due to meet in Munich on February 11.