U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria over the last year have not been “effective,” said Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad during an interview with the Japanese news service Kyodo. The airstrikes “were not effective and they in fact achieved nothing,” Mekdad said Sunday, while also stressing that any fight against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, should be coordinated with Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government.

The terror group “has become stronger in both Iraq and Syria under the American war against terrorism,” added Mekdad.

It was revealed last week that Syrian troops, which have been faltering in the fight against ISIS and other insurgents, have begun using new Russian weapons delivered by the Kremlin throughout September. They would not hesitate to ask Russia for increased aid, even ground troops, Syrian officials also said last week.

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