NATO chief says Russia must stop bombing rebel groups for peace to work

February 12, 2016 14:24

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg accused Russia of undermining efforts to reach a peaceful solution in Syria by targeting opposition groups instead of Islamic State militants and said a lasting peace would only be achieved if this stopped.

"Russia has mainly targeted opposition groups and not ISIL (Islamic State militants). Air strikes of Russian planes against different opposition groups in Syria have actually undermined the efforts to reach a negotiated, peaceful solution," he said.His comments came after major powers, including Russia, reached agreement on plans for a ceasefire between rebels and government forces in Syria, although Moscow has said it will continue bombing militants.

"What we need is a lasting ceasefire, we need help for the civilians and we need of course an agreement on transition," Stoltenberg added.

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