Russia Blames US Policies for Strengthening ISIS

The Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, has come out and blamed the actions of the United States for helping ISIS gain traction among radical Islamists. The prime minister stated that ISIS’ strength “became possible partly due to irresponsible U.S. politics.” Medvedev is accusing the U.S. of not putting forth enough effort to get to the bottom of ISIS and instead fighting the current Syrian president.

Medvedev’s comments come just after President Obama made it clear that the United States won’t agree to a political settlement for Syria’s civil war in which current Syrian president Bashar al-Assad remains in power. Obama stated, “It is not conceivable that Mr. Assad can regain legitimacy in a country in which a large majority of that country despises Assad, and will not stop fighting so long as he’s in power,” during his news conference in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. The civil war in Syria has allowed ISIS to take hold in the country.

President Obama speaking at the G20 World Leader's Summit in Turkey.
November 16, 2015 – President Barack Obama speaking at the G20 World Leader’s Summit. [Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images]
Russia was pulled into the fight against ISIS in the past month when ISIS claimed responsibility for the downing of a Russian passenger jet that killed 224 people. Medvedev has backed al-Assad during the Syrian civil war, but the Russians are one of the only political powerhouses currently doing so.

The United Nations announced on Friday that they unanimously endorsed a resolution calling for an “all necessary measures” joint effort to fight ISIS in both Iraq and Syria. Whether Russia decides to cooperate and agree that al-Assad must step down or not will not stop the U.S. and its allies from pressing ahead with their plans to bring ISIS down.

The French president Francois Hollande is set to visit with President Obama on Tuesday and then with Prime Minister Medvedev on Thursday. Hollande has been urging the two countries to begin coordinating efforts to fight ISIS in both Syria and Iraq. Hollande knows all too well what happens when ISIS is allowed to gain too much traction in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris on November 13 that cost 130 people their lives and left 350 others injured.

Francois Hollande receives the Morrocan king a week after Paris terror attacks
November 20, 2015 – President Francois Hollande after receiving King Mohammed VI of Morocco. The president is urging Russia and the United States to join together to fight ISIS.

While Hollande has used the downed Russian plane and the Paris terror attacks to build up a global campaign against ISIS, President Obama is urging the world to not over react to a point that it plays into ISIS’ goals. “We will not accept the idea that terrorist assaults on restaurants, theaters or hotels are the new normal,” he said. “We will not give into fear or turning on each other.”

Of course, the president’s critics are agreeing with Medvedev and accusing the president of underestimating ISIS. In fact, former Senator Rick Santorium has accused the president of starting World War III due to his lack of focus on ISIS. While the United States Republicans and the Russian prime minister accused the president of strengthening ISIS, the POTUS continued to diminish the group by stating that the leader of the terrorist attack in Paris was “not a mastermind.” He went on to state that ISIS is just “a bunch of killers with good social media,” on Sunday. Many worry that his comment stating that “they {ISIS} cannot strike a mortal blow against the United States,” could lead to a retaliatory type attack in the near future.

The comments from both Medvedev and Obama come after a week long summit in the Malaysian capital that focused on the battle against ISIS and terrorism. The Obama administration has not responded to Medvedev’s comments. The two will meet again in Vienna where discussions will continue in the search for a political solution to the current ISIS situation. The 35-minute meeting between Obama and Medvedev was described as constructive, according to Bloomberg. While there is no immediate answer for putting a stop to ISIS, there is hope that the world powerhouses can work together to push for an end to terrorism.