Bashar al-Assad

Obama Calls on Russia to Shift Syria Strategy
 

President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande held a joint news conference Tuesday, discussing how the two countries will proceed militarily in regard to their efforts to destroy the Islamic State. The two world leaders called upon Russia to shift its military focus to taking down the Islamic State, rather than propping up the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“Given Russia's military capabilities and the influence they have on the Assad regime, them cooperating would be enormously helpful in bringing about resolution of the civil war in Syria, and allow us all to refocus our attention on ISIL,” Obama said.

Casey: Russia, Iran in ‘Clear Violation’ of Intl. Resolutions
 

A senior Democrat on the Finance Committee and former Foreign Relations Committee member, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., has been in conversation with the State Department on countering the finance activities of the Islamic State. 

 Ahead of the Syria talks in Vienna on Friday, Casey voiced his concern that the governments of Iran and Russia “continue to offer a lifeline to a murderous Assad.” He noted they have been in “clear violation” of U.N. Security Council resolutions in the past and therefore, the intentions of charting a diplomatic path on Syria with Iran and Russia should be made clear: Syrian president Bashar al-Assad must go. 

DoD: Russia 'On Wrong Side' of Syrian Civil War
 

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter commented on the Russian involvement in the fight against the Islamic State terror group, going as far as saying they are on the wrong side of the war.

"You ask, what are the Russians doing? What the Russians are actually doing is buttressing the Assad regime, which is, as I have said, will have the effect of fanning the flames of the civil war.

Earnest: Putin Playing Checkers, Not Chess
 

When pressed on the lack of progress in diplomatic talks with Russia, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin’s support of the Assad regime.