Putin Says U.S. Fails to Cooperate in Syria

10/20/2015 - 00:35 AM

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MOSCOW — President Vladimir V. Putin ofRussia criticized the United States and others on Tuesday for what he said was their lack of cooperation with the Russian military campaign in Syria, suggesting that they had “mush for brains.”

Mr. Putin was responding to widespread accusations in the West that Russian warplanes were targeting practically every group opposed to the Syrian government except the Islamic State, also known as ISISor ISIL. He complained that while the Russian government had asked for the coordinates of the groups that should or should not be attacked, the United States had not responded to either request.

“Recently, we have offered the Americans: ‘Give us objects that we shouldn’t target.’ Again, no answer,” he said. “It seems to me that some of our partners have mush for brains.”

In Washington, defense and military officials have privately described the reluctance to work with Russia as a trust issue. First, they fear that the Russians might use the coordinates to target the groups the Americans do not want attacked. Second, Syrian opposition groups are already suspicious that the United States is coordinating with Russia on the attacks, a perception the Pentagon does not want to feed, the officials said.

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