BRUSSELS (Reuters) — U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura on Tuesday sought to dispel concerns that the U.S. President-elect Donald Trump could strike a deal with Russia over Syria, saying he would welcome it if Washington increased its fighting against Islamic State.
De Mistura told the European Parliament that Islamic State was “like Ebola,” the deadly disease, and referred to comments in the U.S. presidential election campaign made by Trump, who said he would bomb the militant group heavily.
“Based on those statements, we have an idea that he intends to give total, top priority to fighting Daesh (Islamic State). I don’t think anyone around… will disagree with that, including me,” de Mistura said.
“You could and you should fight together with Russia (against) Daesh because everybody is threatened by them.”
Washington and Moscow are both fighting against Islamic State, but otherwise back opposite sides in the war.
On Monday, the Syrian army and its allies announced the capture of a large swathe of eastern Aleppo from rebels, in an accelerating attack that threatens to crush the opposition in its most important urban stronghold.