2014-01-29 15:44:00

Lavrov calls claims on Syrian govt's using Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to promote terrorism "unscrupulous"

Brussels, January 29, Interfax - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called claims that the Syrian government has set up the insurgent group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, finances it and uses it for promoting the threat of terrorism as dangerous and unscrupulous.

"These statements are very unscrupulous. And those who control the opposition [in Syria] and its propaganda machine bear immense responsibility, and they take on even greater responsibility if they do such things," Lavrov said at a news conference in Brussels.

Russia and its U.S. partners are discussing ways to prevent steps that "could encourage terrorists to be even more active in Syria," he said.

"And if you take the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, it is seeking not only to seize power in Syria but also to establish a caliphate in this whole region. And the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's opponents are similar guys, take, for instance the Islamic Front, which was set up recently instead of the Free Syrian Army. It incorporates groups designated as terrorist ones," Lavrov said.