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Moscow: US must understand it's possible to fight IS only by joining efforts with Damascus

September 17, 2015, 16:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"We want our American colleagues and partners to understand that fighting against IS threat can be effective only by a united front, Russian foreign ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharov says
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Syrian government soldiers

Syrian government soldiers

© AP Photo/SANA, File

MOSCOW, September 17. /TASS/. The United States must understand that fighting against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization is only possible by joining efforts with the Syrian authorities, Russian foreign ministry’s official spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

"Russia cooperates and will continue cooperating with Syria, including in the military sphere," Zakharova said. "Contrary to Washington’s statements on achievements and successes of the US-led anti-ISIL coalition, which is doubtful, the crisis is exacerbating, and there are more and more refugees fleeing the region, and IS is not going to retreat," she added.

The spokesperson noted that "the Syrian army has borne the most hardships of fighting against terrorists on its land." "While Western countries and Western coalitions hesitated in tasks and aims of their attitude toward Syria, the attitude of Damascus toward IS has always been absolutely persistent and clear," she stressed.

"Naturally, it’s up to experts to assess the efficiency but what’s happening on the ground is casting great doubts on the coalition’s efficiency. Everything what we have seen so far has been a set of chaotic actions and chaotic air strikes, which have not led to any effective results," the diplomat said.

Zakharova drew attention to the fact that "the notion of ISIL has been absent from the statements of American leaders until recently." "They did not notice it and did not want to notice. They have focused on it as a global problem only recently," Zakharova said. "The good thing is that the US finally saw this threat and realized what they will have to deal with. We want our American colleagues and partners to understand that fighting against it [IS threat] can be effective, and I stress — effective, only by a united front. And it is impossible without participation of Syria’s legitimate government," she noted.

Russia sending humanitarian aid to Syria to prevent refugees flow to Europe

Moscow is supplying Syria with humanitarian aid in a preventive measure against the flow of refugees to Europe, Maria Zakharova went on to say.

"Our actions are preventive in order not to wait until the deprived and cornered people start fleeing to Europe. To this aim, we supply humanitarian aid to the region," the diplomat said.

The West should follow suit rather than criticize Moscow for humanitarian aid supplies to Syria, Zakharova said. "Some conflict situations occur and we hear bewilderment: why are you doing this," she said. "The situation is evident. You may follow our example."

The diplomat has called on the European Union to take a more responsible approach towards its international commitments in the sphere of the refugees’ rights protection.

Islamic State extremist organization

The Islamic State is an extremist organization banned in Russia. In 2013-2014, it called itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In June 2014, IS announce the establishment of the "Islamic caliphate" on the territories seized in Iraq and Syria. According to US’ Central Intelligence Agency, the extremist group includes around 30,000 people, while Iraqi authorities claim there are around 200,000 in IS. Among members of the group are citizens of 80 countries, including France, Great Britain, Germany, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, US, Canada, as well as Russia and other CIS countries. According to reports, militants now control around 40% of the Iraqi territory and 50% of the Syrian territory.

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