Syria crisis: London mayor Boris Johnson says UK should work with Russian president Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad

 
Jessica Morris
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Boris Johnson Attends His Constituency Declaration
Boris says UK needs to lose its "Cold War mindset" (Source: Getty)

London mayor Boris Johnson has said that the UK should work with Russian president Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to defeat the Islamic State (Isis).

Writing in the Telegraph, Johnson said: "This is the time to set aside our Cold War mindset. It is just not true that whatever is good for Putin must automatically be bad for the West. We both have a clear and concrete objective - to remove the threat from [Isis]. Everything else is secondary."

Britain carried out its second wave of airstrikes this weekend, after they were approved by Parliament on Thursday. Isis-controlled oil fields, which the UK government believes are being used to fund terror attacks, were targeted.

Johnson said the UK cannot defeat Isis in Syria and Iraq without boots on the ground. Given uncertainty surrounding the size of the Free Syrian Army, as well as many other groups, we must look to Assad and his army and the Russians.

"There is Assad, and his army; and the recent signs are that they are making some progress. Thanks at least partly to Russian air strikes, it looks as if the regime is taking back large parts of Homs. Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants are withdrawing from some districts of the city," Johnson wrote.

"With Russian air support, the Assad regime is only a few miles from Palmyra ... Am I backing the Assad regime, and the Russians, in their joint enterprise to recapture that amazing site? You bet I am."

"That does not mean I trust Putin, and it does not mean that I want to keep Assad in power indefinitely. But we cannot suck and blow at once."

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