"Backing this stance, Lavrov said: "If... there are plans to combat Islamic State on the territory of Syria and other countries, it is indispensable that it is done in cooperation with legitimate authorities (there)."
Having long been denounced by Washington and others for protecting Assad, Lavrov made clear that Russia now feels vindicated.
"At one time we were accused of supporting Bashar al-Assad and preventing his overthrow.... Now no one is talking about that," he said.
The Americans and Europeans were now starting to acknowledge "the truth they have long recognized in private conversations: namely that for the region and for the interests of the West, the main threat is not the regime of Bashar al-Assad but the possible threat of seizure of power by terrorists in Syria and other states of the region."" Reuters
"Western alarm about ISIS, the extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State and controls a swath of territory across the Syria-Iraq border, has spiked since it released a video showing an ISIS fighter beheading the American journalist James Foley last week.
Mr. Moallem condemned the killing of Mr. Foley and suggested that a failed raid into Syria by American Special Operations forces seeking to free him could have succeeded with Syrian government help.
“If there had been coordination beforehand, I tell you that the chance of failure would have been weak,” he said.
The United States has been conducting airstrikes on ISIS positions in Iraq — an effort that officials have suggested could extend into Syria. Last week, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, said that ISIS could not be defeated in Iraq without attacks on its bases in Syria.
Responding to that possibility, Mr. Moallem said any such strikes launched unilaterally would be considered an act of war." NY Times
"President Obama has authorized surveillance flights over Syria, a precursor to potential airstrikes there, but a mounting concern for the White House is how to target the Sunni extremists without helping President Bashar al-Assad" NY Times
"Lordy, Lordy," as the "Old Lady from South Carolina might say." (copyright pending) "It gives one the vaypuhs. What to do? What to do? That nasty, tricky Assad man, and his Rooshun friends... Why wasn't Assad gone three yeahs ago? All the expuhts at WINEP and ISW and in the retahred ambassaduh boneyahd said he would be gone. And he is still heah! Nobody at lunch at the Cosmos Club evah said that he might still be heah. I will ask John but I am shuah they nevah said anythin' about him still bein' heah to plague us."
This she might say, but Moallam made it clear in his statement yesterday that Syria is ready to welcome cooperation with the US against IS, but failing that Syria will treat such air operations as a breach of the peace. Syria knows it has no chance of resisting US air power but what they will undoubtedly do is go to the UN and international courts with a complaint that the US and friends are waging aggressive war against Syria. That will be an embarassment.
On a different subject, I heard Mike Barnicle of Boston Globe fame, pronounce on MJ today that the US must have known of the Egyptian and UAE air attacks at Tripoli. Mike knows this because he watches spy stories on the TeeVee and believes the USIC to be all knowing. I guess Sister Mary Margaret (or whatever her cover name was) never told him that only God is omniscient. BTW, what the hell do we think we are accomplishing in threatening Egypt and the UAE over their efforts to fight Islamists in Libya? What are we doing!! Ah, I see, the toys have escaped from the toy box and the grad school seminar that is the Children's Crusade (Obama Administration) are "acting out" as the mommies say. pl