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Only concerted efforts will overpower terrorist Islamic State - analysts

June 29, 2015, 20:20 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara

MOSCOW, June 29. /TASS/. No single country in the world will be able to cope on its own with the struggle coming from the so-called Islamic State, and only concerted action, including that by Russia and the United States, can overpower that terrorist group, polled experts told TASS.

Last Friday, a string of terrorist attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait, Syria and France shocked the world. At Tunisia’s tourist resort of Sousse a gun attack staged by one militant claimed the lives of 39 people and left tens of others injured. Inside a Shiite mosque in the capital of Kuwait a suicide bomber triggered an explosive device to kill 24 people. The Islamic State claimed responsibility. The IS says it is responsible for the one and half hundred killed in the Syrian city of Kobane. And in Saint Quitin-Fallavier two terrorists attacked a local chemical plant and displayed on the fence the IS flag and the head of the transport company’s manager they had killed.

Last Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Barack Obama held a telephone conversation to discuss the whole range of issues stemming from the dangerous spread of the Islamic State group in the Middle East. Putin and Obama agreed to instruct Russian Foreign Minister Sergey and John Kerry to hold a special meeting to discuss this theme. Lavrov said the meeting would take place in Vienna on Tuesday.

Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said after the presidents’ phone contact that "in view of the current extremely dangerous situation it would make sense to forget the past insults, eliminate the existing contradictions and take joint action in the struggle against the Islamic State."

Putin on Monday urged Syria and other countries in the region to unite in the struggle against the Islamic State, while Russia, he said, would be prepared to help establish a dialogue among these countries.

The deputy director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of US and Canada Studies, Viktor Kremenyuk, believes that the discussion Putin and Obama held over the need for joint struggle against the terrorist Islamic State will have a practical impact. "The United States is taking part in the combat operations against Islamic State militants, while Russia refrains from this. Approaches are different, but Moscow and Washington may start joint struggle against the Islamic State with exchanges of information about the spheres, methods and scale of terrorists’ operations in order to resist an upsurge in their activity. Russia will most certainly bring up the issue of the need for promoting a dialogue between the Syrian leadership and the countries involved in the struggle against radical Islamists," Kremenyuk told TASS.

"Against the background of the bloody Ukrainian crisis many countries participating in settlement efforts are expecting that Russia and the United States will find a common language at last and resume cooperation on topical issues on the global agenda, including the struggle against the Islamic State. It is to be hoped that the latest telephone contact between Putin and Obama will have a positive continuation and their conversation ended with a comma, not a full-stop," the analyst said.

A member of the science council at Moscow’s Carnegie Center, Alexeyi Malashenko, believes that Putin and Obama sent a message to different governments around the world to the effect the terrorist threat coming from the Islamic State is a global problem that concerns one and all. "Friday’s massacres in Tunisia, Kuwait, Syria and France are just the beginning. Washington and Moscow are aware that the United States and Russia will be unable to cope with the problem of radical Islamism on their own. For this reason Putin and Obama, who started the discussion over how to present a common front against the Islamic State with the search for a common political approach have made it clear to all other countries that they are not going to use the IS factor in the struggle against each other, because otherwise the line of confrontation will have to be drawn not across Ukraine, but across the Middle East. And this is extremely dangerous for all," Malashenko told TASS.

"Politicians are aware that airstrikes against the Islamic State alone will not win victory. In the longer term Putin and Obama may instruct their secret services to establish cooperation for the identifying persons who may try to penetrate from the Islamic state-controlled territory into other countries and, the other way round, to keep an eye on potential militants the Islamists have recruited in various parts of the world. In Georgia I’ve been to just recently, there is real panic very many people are getting attracted by the ideas of a "society of social justice" the IS recruiters propagate. Fears are strong about the Islamic State’s ideological expansion in Turkey, Eastern Europe, the North Caucasus and even Crimea. That’s a common threat and only joint efforts are capable of eradicating it.

Damascus is prepared to support the idea of an international coalition involving the United States and Turkey for the struggle against the Islamic State, but achieving that is a no easy task, Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said after Monday’s talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow.

"I am perfectly aware that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia have achieved real miracles," he said. "But creating a coalition of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United States and Qatar will require a far greater miracle, because these countries have been encouraging terrorism instead of fighting it. Yet we would like to see them take concerted action," he said.

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