If US-led coalition really fought terrorism, Palmyra wouldn’t have fallen – Assad’s adviser to RT

A general view taken on March 27, 2016 shows part of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, after government troops recaptured the UNESCO world heritage site from Islamic State (IS) group jihadists on March 27, 2016.  © Maher Al Mounes
The US-led coalition that launched its air campaign in Syria a year ahead of Russia’s intervention “didn’t lift a finger” to prevent Islamic State terrorists from capturing Palmyra, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s political adviser Bouthaina Shaaban told RT.

A day after the ancient city of Palmyra was retaken by the Syrian forces, Shaaban told RT that the western coalition that started its operation in Syria in September 2014 only “pretended to fight terrorism,” but in fact “did nothing” to prevent terrorists from gaining ground.

“The satellites could have detected them [terrorists coming to Palmyra] and they could have launched an airstrike,” she noted, adding that apparently the coalition had not been “sincere in its attempts to eradicate terrorism.”

On the other hand, the call for a wider international coalition to fight terrorism voiced by Russian President Vladimir Putin is very important to Syria, Shaaban stressed, adding that Russia has proved the seriousness of its commitment.

“Those who really want to fight terrorism must respond to President Putin’s call and help the Syrian Arab Army and its allies such as Russia, Iran and Hezbollah,” she said.

Shaaban called terrorism a “common problem” and “cancer tumor”, that inflicts strikes all over the world. There was no excuse for the US-led coalition’s failure to coordinate its effort in Syria, she added.

Welcoming the military campaign conducted by Russia, she mentioned how Putin expressed his “personal deep feelings” towards Palmyra and its unique ancient sites in a telephone call with Assad.

At the same time the adviser condemned the silence of British Prime Minister David Cameron and other European leaders, emphasizing that the terrorists who seized Palmyra were “the same kind of terrorists who carried out terror attacks in Brussels, Paris, other European cities and in the USA.”

The Syrian Army backed by heavy Russian support fully recaptured Palmyra on Sunday, driving out Islamic State militants who took over the city back in May 2015. The victory of the Syrian forces was hailed by President Assad who called it “an important achievement” and “a fresh proof of the efficiency of the Syrian army and its allies in fighting terrorism.”