Russia urges coordinated terrorism fight as airstrikes begin
UNITED NATIONS - Russia followed its launch of airstrikes in Syria with a call on Wednesday for the world to unite in the fight against terrorist groups, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told foreign ministers of world powers that his country was circulating a draft U.N. Security Council resolution to help make it happen.
Secretary of State John Kerry responded by announcing that the United States is prepared to welcome Russia actions in Syria if they are directed at the Islamic State group and al-Qaida, and promising that the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria would "dramatically accelerate our efforts."
And Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem told the council that his country strongly endorses Russia's latest moves and called French and other airstrikes in Syria that aren't coordinated with his government a "blatant contravention" of international law. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif of Iran, Syria's closest ally, noted that the U.S.-led coalition was "failing to achieve its goals."
Russia spoke a day after President Barack Obama made his own pitch on countering the threat of the Islamic State and other groups to a gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.
With Obama gone on Wednesday, it was the turn of Russia, which this month holds the presidency of the Security Council, the U.N.'s most powerful body.