MOSCOW- Washington has asked Moscow not to target the al-Qaida’s branch in Syria, the Nusra Front, for fear of hitting the moderate opposition, Russia’s foreign minister said Friday. Sergey Lavrov said that Russia long has insisted that the moderate, US-backed opposition groups should leave the areas occupied by Nusra.
He said in televised remarks that Russia and the US have engaged in close dialogue on how to secure a cease-fire in Syria, but added that fighting the Islamic State group and Nusra should be a top priority. “They are telling us not to hit it (Nusra), because there is ‘normal’ opposition next .. to it,” Lavrov said. “But that opposition must leave terrorists’ positions, we long have agreed on that.”