AP FACT CHECK: Trump wrong that Assad fights IS

WASHINGTON (AP) — A claim from the second presidential debate and how it stacks up with the facts:

DONALD TRUMP: “I don’t like Assad at all. But Assad is killing ISIS. Russia is killing ISIS.”

THE FACTS: Not true. Syria’s President Bashar Assad considers the Islamic State group to be among numerous “terrorist” groups that threaten his government, but his military is not fighting them. It is focused on combatting Syrian opposition groups, some of which are supported by the United States. The fight against the Islamic State militants is being waged by a U.S.-led coalition, with help from Turkey, by training, advising and equipping Syrian Arab and Kurdish fighters. While Moscow asserts that it is fighting the Islamic State extremists in Syria, the vast majority of its airstrikes have targeted opposition groups threatening the Assad government.


Contributed by AP National Security Writer Robert Burns.

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