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MOSCOW, October 1. /TASS/. Russian aircraft have destroyed five positions of the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria on Thursday, Syrian Ambassador in Moscow Riyad Haddad said.
"The actions taken under the command of the Russian friends are very important. The coming days will show the effectiveness of Russia’s operations in Syria. Five IS positions have already been destroyed today," Haddad said.
"These strikes are different from those talked of and launched by the Western coalition during the year - without any practical results. On the contrary, Islamic State is expanding territory under its control," the diplomat said.
The ambassador also noted that Russian forces deliver airstrikes at positions far from residential areas in accordance with coordinates provided by the Syrian army.
The Syrian army has experience in fighting against terrorists and can provide coordinates of terrorists’ positions, Haddad noted. "For now, airstrikes are targeted against these groups. Their positions are located far from settlements and residential areas," he said.
"Al-Qaeda is in fact IS," Haddad said, commenting on media reports that Russian airstrikes could be aimed at targets other than IS positions.
"Russian airstrikes are aimed at them [Islamic State] and other terrorist groups that support IS," he added.
The ambassador thanked Vladimir Putin and the people of Russia on Thursday for their position on the situation in Syria.
"I'm thankful to the people of Russia and to President Vladimir Putin for the position that supports our rights and principles of international law," he said.
"Russian military presence (in Syria) is explained for by the importance of counteraction to terrorism in line with international law," Haddad added.
The diplomat said he doesn't think the war will end soon and he can't forecast the timeframe of Russia’s involvement in the struggle against the Islamic State terrorist group.
"It’s difficult to forecast the deadlines from the military point of view," he said. "Citizens of about 80 countries are warring on the side of the terrorists. Supplies of up-to-date weaponry are delivered to them from Turkey."
"That’s why we don’t expect this war to end within a few days," Haddad said.
According to the official, the Syrian leadership has supported political settlement since the start of the conflict, but the people will not accept the option forced from outside.
"The Syrian leadership has supported political settlement since the start of the crisis which was repeatedly stated by President Bashar Assad," Haddad said. "However, the political settlement that the Syrian people will accept should meet the interests of the country, strengthen its unity, serve its future," he added.
Haddad stressed that the political solution should be based on UN principles and non-interference into internal Syrian affairs. "We cannot agree to a political settlement that is being imposed on us by those who financed terrorism and facilitated its spread into Syria," the diplomat stressed.