Russia: Fighters on Syria-Turkey border may be Qaida allies

By REUTERS
July 25, 2012 16:57

MOSCOW - Russia said on Wednesday that militants who have seized control of posts on Syria's border with Turkey may be allies of al-Qaida.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed doubt over claims that border gates captured from government forces on the Syrian side of the frontier had been seized by the rebel Free Syrian Army.

"According to some information, these checkpoints were seized not by the Free Syrian Army at all - whatever one thinks about it - but by groups directly linked with al-Qaida," Lavrov said at a news conference with his Cypriot counterpart.

"We are double-checking this," said Lavrov, suggesting that Western nations should not rush to celebrate territorial gains by opponents of President Bashar Assad's government.

"If such processes - the seizure of territory by terrorists - are supported by our partners, then we would like to receive an answer to the question of what their position on Syria is, what they are trying to achieve in that country," he said.


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