Allies of the U.S. role in the Syrian Civil War are criticizing Washington’s approach, even as Russian airstrikes continue to bombard the city of Aleppo in support of President Bashar Assad, who remains firmly in office nearly five years after the fighting began.
Criticism of the U.S. came from Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister who is leaving his post to head the country’s constitutional court, as well as Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president. France and Turkey, along with the U.S., oppose Assad’s regime and support some of the rebel groups fighting the Syrian president.
“There are the ambiguities including among the actors of the coalition. ... I’m not going to repeat what I’ve said before about the main pilot of the coalition,” Fabius said in Paris. “But we don’t have the feeling that there is a very strong commitment that is there.”
Fabius has advocated—and President Francois Hollande had supported—a more muscular French foreign policy, including backing Assad’s ouster. He was a critic of the U.S. failure to oust the Syrian leader after the use of chemical weapons despite President Obama’s previous warnings the use of such weapons would constitute a “red line.” Fabius on Wednesday said he didn’t expect the U.S. to change its policy anytime soon—despite pressure on it to act.