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Ash Carter: Russians' strategy in Syria will "come back and get them"

Defense Secretary Ash Carter has some tough words about Russia
Defense Secretary Ash Carter has some tough w... 02:15

Defense Secretary Ash Carter has some tough words about Russia's involvement in Syria and the fallout for countries that do not help fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

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"I've said this very bluntly to our overseas partners -- there can't be any free riders here ... because we're going to be on the winning side," Carter told "CBS This Morning" co-host Charlie Rose at the Pentagon Tuesday. "We'll remember who contributed and who didn't. And we aren't out to do people favors here and we're not asking for anybody to do us favors either, but people need to act in their own long-term interests so we'll remember."

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Carter said any country on the sidelines "who needs to get in the game" should get in the game.

"That's what I was doing in Brussels. And overwhelmingly people came on behind that, and to the Russians and the Iranians who are not contributing and are actually causing more problems in the region, that's going to come back and get them," Carter said.

"Everybody looks to Russia as if they have -- this has been a win-win for them in Syria. They're a player. They have supported Assad. Assad is in a much better position," Rose pointed out. "I mean, people look at what Putin has done and said he's been a master strategist in the way he's played a weak hand."

"Well, where does that strategy lead?" Carter asked. "It's leading to the prolongation of the civil war in Syria, which is not in Russia's interest. It's not."

"But it is in fact he makes Assad stronger so that they can negotiate something from a better position," Rose said.

"The Russians have been way off track since the very beginning," Carter said. "They have not done what they said they were going to do and they're not doing what is in their interest to do in terms of fighting ISIL."

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