Obama Just Threw A Fresh Jab At Putin That Will Not Be Received Well In Moscow [VIDEO]
In a moment of candor during a news conference in Paris on Tuesday, Barack Obama acknowledged that the U.S. and Russia are pursuing – at least to some extent – different targets in Syria. While American forces are solely interested in striking Islamic State strongholds, Obama made it clear that Russia is also targeting opponents of the brutal regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“I don’t think we should be under any illusions that somehow Russia starts hitting only ISIL targets,” he said. “That’s not happening now. It was never happening. It’s not going to be happening in the next several weeks.”
Obama went on to note that Putin, with whom he met privately on Monday, is protecting the Assad regime based on what he perceives is in Russia’s best national interest.
“I don’t expect that you’re going to see a 180-degree turn on their strategy over the next several weeks,” Obama admitted. “They have invested for years now in keeping Assad in power. Their presence there is predicated on propping him up. That’s going to take some time for them to change how they think about the issue.”