President Donald Trump has made a “peace” with Russia, even though he has not publicly renounced the country’s support for the rebels fighting against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One on Wednesday, Trump told reporters that his administration has “made a lot of progress” in the fight against the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and that he has “absolutely no doubt” Russia is behind the attacks.
He added that “it’s a very complicated situation” but that “we’re working on it.”
“We’ve got a very, very, complicated situation,” Trump said.
“I think we’ve made a lot and I don’t know what else to say.
We’ve made progress.”
The president, who has repeatedly accused Russia of helping to create ISIS, has said he will not make a decision on the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement until the United States and other nations are done with the fighting in Syria.
On Tuesday, Trump’s national security adviser, retired Lt.
Gen. Michael Flynn, said the U-turn in Syria is “good news” for U.N. peacekeepers deployed in the country, but the administration has not yet made a final decision on their deployment.
The president said that “many of the people that are fighting in the region are also in some cases supporting the opposition, and they are in some instances supporting the rebels,” but he said the United Nations mission has “a very, a very limited mission in the Middle East and I think that is a very difficult area to be in.”
The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Tuesday that Russian-backed fighters launched an assault on Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, which was once a center for the Syrian uprising.
The attack targeted the rebel-held neighborhood of Azaz, which has a population of around 2,500, according to a monitoring group.
The Observatory said the attack was the biggest to hit Azaz since July, when Russia-backed Syrian troops launched a military campaign to recapture the city.
The group said it is the first time Russia has targeted an area in the eastern part of Aleppo since a Russian military campaign that began in late September.
The U-Turn is not the only indication that Russia’s support of the Syrian rebels has waned in recent weeks.
Last week, Russia launched airstrikes on the Syrian city of Idlib, which had been the epicenter of the U,S.-backed opposition uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The United States, France and Britain also have been bombing Idlib for months, and Russia has not backed the opposition side.
Last month, President Donald J. Trump said that he will pull the U