In the last week, Russia has stepped up its attacks in northern and western Syria, and the U.S. has cried foul, claiming Russia is only pretending to target terrorists.

“Despite claims they are focusing on [al Qaeda in Syria] and [ISIS], Russia and [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad have primarily targeted the moderate opposition,” a U.S. intelligence official explained to The Daily Beast. “Moscow’s offer of joint operations with the United States [against ISIS] was a blatant attempt to deflect attention from his targeting of moderate opposition, and sadly, innocent Syrians trying to survive the disaster Assad has created. By continuing to back Assad, it appears Moscow has squandered the opportunity presented by the cessation of hostilities to stabilize the situation in Syria.”

Russia has a completely different version of this story. The Kremlin says some of the U.S.-backed rebels not only work with al Qaeda but refuse to sever the relationship. Therefore, it is not Russia’s fault that U.S. allies are working so closely with a terror group and that Russia accidentally strikes U.S.-backed rebels in its the war against extremists in Syria.

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