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MOSCOW, October 6./TASS/. Fight against Islamic State in Syria is a matter of national security for Russia, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Tuesday.
"If a person is engaged in terrorist activity, this person is a terrorist. Up till now the international community has not formulated a common term of what a terrorist is, but should it stand in the way of our fight against a terrorist threat?" she asked.
"Has this prevented our country from supporting other states in their fight against terrorism?" Zakharova continued.
"This is indeed a matter of national security for us. We have experienced this, we know what it is. We don’t want to see the international terrorism story repeated in our country," Zakharova said. "This is too painful for us," she noted.
Moscow expected understanding in this respect, Zakharova added.
Censuring of Russia’s actions in Syria by Western media is based on unidentified sources and unverified information, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman went on to say.
"The world media have launched a powerful anti-Russian information campaign censuring Russia’s allegedly unlawful, illogical and unclear actions in Syria," the diplomat said. "We’ve seen various accusations. We’ve been accused of pursuing our own personal goals under the guise of combating the Islamic State terrorist group and others." "Literally during the first hours of the operation we were accused of causing casualties among civilians, including children," Zakharovsa said.
According to her, "the current media allegations scheme today is very simple." "You can check this yourself," she said. "They are preceded by the statements of officials of the countries that, unfortunately, still for some reason don’t understand the consistency and logic of Russia’s policy in this sphere." Zakharova said that these statements "set the tone for various reports and publications that contain references to unconfirmed, unofficial, unnamed assertions."
"The main aim of these statements is to say that Russia allegedly wants to destroy the moderate opposition in the region," the diplomat said. "All this, as a rule, is illustrated by photos that turn out to be archive materials or unrelated to the given region, situation or the timespan. They are confirmed by video materials that are not related to the situation."
"It can be said without exaggeration today that such tactics has not been avoided by every media outlet," said the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.
Moscow is not planning to join the US-led counter-terrorist coalition as its actions in Syria without a permission from Damascus and the UN Security Council are illegal.
"We are not opposed joint struggle against the Islamic State but we cannot join the coalition on its current conditions as they are not in line with the international law," Maria Zakharova said adding that the coalition’s actions in Iraq were legal as it had Baghdad’s consent.
"If the coalition took similar steps towards Syria, they would be absolutely legal," she added.
"We refuse to take part in illegal operations," Zakharova said. "We had the same position ten years ago during the Iraq campaign and we were right."
"We will not take part in anything illegal as there is no permission of the UN Security Council and the capital [Damascus]," she added.
There will be no rerun of the "Afghan experience", there will never be a ground operation in Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson said.
"This is still another point [on the alleged ground operation in Syria — TASS], which has been discussed extensively during the past few days. This is infamy, parallels are drawn with the Afghan campaign," she said. "Everyone knows what a dramatic page in our history it is. This will never happen."