Hollande: Russian intervention won’t save Assad

French President Francois Hollande talks to the media at a press conference after the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium on early Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. (AP)

Russia’s military intervention in Syria will not save President Bashar al-Assad, French President Francois Hollande said on Friday after an EU summit called for a political transition to a new leader.

“It is very clearly stated that Bashar cannot be the future. We must go as fast as possible to a political transition,” Hollande told a press conference after the summit in Brussels.

“Russia’s intervention from this point of view can bolster the regime but will not save Bashar,” he added.

Russia said on Thursday its warplanes had eased back on air strikes in Syria as regime forces pressed a widening ground offensive against rebels.

The latest strikes targeted Damascus, Idlib, Hama, Deir Ezzor, and Aleppo provinces.

The Kremlin said the goal of the aerial operation that Russia launched in Syria on September 30 was to help Assad’s beleaguered forces fight the militant group ISIS.

Russia’s entry into the conflict has raised fears of a potential confrontation with the U.S.-led coalition that began air strikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq more than a year ago.

More than 245,000 people have been killed in Syria since fighting broke out in March 2011, and more than four million have fled their country.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47