© Global Look Press / Alex Cavendish

Russia’s foreign minister fired back at the UK chief of the General Staff who claimed that Russia is a bigger threat than ISIS, saying he hopes Whitehall is in the habit of thinking twice before promoting anyone to the top post.

“We can’t ban anyone from showing off [their] intellect and political abilities,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in response to the words of Gen. Mark Carleton-Smith, who claimed Russia poses a greater threat to the UK and its allies than Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) or Al-Qaeda.

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“We can’t influence the British government’s decisions as to who to place in charge of their armed forces. But I hope they verify these decisions for sanity,” Lavrov said, answering a question during a media conference with his Portuguese counterpart.
Gen. Carleton-Smith is not the only high-profile figure to fan the “Russia scare,” the foreign minister said, noting that it was under former US President Barack Obama that these comparisons arose.

ISIS, Ebola, and Russia topped Obama’s list of international threats in 2015.

“At the very least, Ebola was defeated – by the way, partially because of our contribution – but Islamic State is still there,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov said the US is using Islamic State terrorists to undermine President Bashar Assad’s government in Syria, as Washington’s first goal is regime change rather than fighting terrorists. Their major stronghold is now located outside Al-Tanf, a piece of land on the east bank of the Euphrates River, controlled by US forces, he added.

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