MOSCOW, October 21. /TASS/. Britain has refused to hand over to Russia the available information on the positions of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in Syria, Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko told the Rossiya 24 TV channel on Wednesday.
"We are actively working with the British on the Syrian issue. And my contacts in the Foreign Office show that so far this work has not been very successful," Yakovenko said.
According to the ambassador, during the last meeting in the British Foreign Office about a week ago he raised the issue of "Britain’s collaboration with us in terms of identifying the targets to be hit in Syria to destroy the IS."
"Unfortunately, I received a negative answer. The British said they would not cooperate with us on this issue," Yakovenko said.
He added that he had asked the British side, on behalf of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, to provide contact information of the Free Syrian Army for conducting negotiations. "The answer was negative," he said. "The British side was not prepared to talk to us on this issue as well. I was told that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister [Mikhail] Bogdanov knew well all moderate opposition, therefore there is no need to say once again who to do business with."
Russia’s Aerospace Forces launched surgical strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on September 30. The military operation is conducted at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Russian air group in Syria comprises more than 50 warplanes and helicopters, including Su-34 and Su-24M bombers, Su-25 fighter bombers and Su-30SM fighters. On October 7, four missile ships of the Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla fired 26 Kalibr cruise missiles at militants’ facilities in Syria. Russia does not plan to take part in ground operations in Syria.