Russia ready to coordinate with Kurds and US on Raqa offensive: Lavrov
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday said Moscow was ready to coordinate with a Kurdish-Arab alliance and the US-led coalition in an assault on the Islamic State group's Syrian bastion of Raqa.
"I say with all authority that we are ready for such coordination," Lavrov told journalists at a summit in Uzbekistan, quoted by TASS state news agency.
He was speaking before Kurdish-Arab forces announced that the assault had been launched, saying: "I cannot say how realistic the reports are that such actions have already started."
"Of course Raqa is one of the goals of the anti-terrorist coalition, just as is Iraq's Mosul," Lavrov said.
"We are convinced it would have been possible to more effectively and quickly liberate these populated areas if our militaries (Russian and US) had started coordinating their actions much earlier," Lavrov said.
Lavrov said that Russia and the US had agreed to coordinate military action in Syria in addition to exchanging information.
"We did not come to an agreement with our US partners immediately, overcoming their doubts and reasoning and even opposition to go from exchanging information to coordinating actions in the fight with terrorism," Lavrov said.
He said that the countries' defence ministries were looking at how specifically to coordinate actions.
© 2016 AFP