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Gen. Votel: Russia is both ‘arsonist and fireman’ in Syria | Military Times
DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley

Gen. Votel: Russia is both ‘arsonist and fireman’ in Syria | Military Times

Russia is seeking to counter U.S. diplomatic influence by stoking conflict in Syria even as it portrays itself as an arbiter in the civil war, the top American general in the Middle East said Tuesday in notably pointed criticism of Moscow.

“I’m being very serious when I say they play the role of both arsonist and fireman — fueling tensions and then trying to resolve them in their favor,” Army Gen. Joseph Votel told the House Armed Services Committee. He said Moscow is pushing alternatives to Western-led political negotiations in both Syria and Afghanistan in order to limit U.S. influence.

Russia “has to admit” that it is incapable of, or not interested in, playing a constructive role in ending the multi-dimensional war in Syria, he said.

Source: Gen. Votel: Russia is both ‘arsonist and fireman’ in Syria | Military Times