BRUSSELS (AP) -- European Union leaders are warning of the risk of military escalation in Syria and criticizing Russian attacks on moderate Syrian rebels.
They argued that international military action should be coordinated and focus on fighting the Islamic State group and other extremists and not propping up President Bashar Assad, according to conclusions of a summit in Brussels that wrapped up early Friday.
French President Francois Hollande, whose country is part of the U.S.-led coalition conducting airstrikes on extremists in Syria, insisted that "Assad cannot be the future."
He said that the Russian intervention could "consolidate the regime, but it will not rescue the fate of Bashar."
Russia's air campaign in Syria this month appears aimed at bolstering the Syrian government, and has raised fears of a proxy war with the West.