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MOSCOW, October 22. /TASS/. Chairperson of Russian State Duma’s Committee on Security and Fighting Corruption Irina Yarovaya has described as "criminal and irresponsible" UK’s refusal to provide information about Islamic State (IS) positions in Syria.
Russia’s Ambassador to London Alexander Yakovenko announced London’s decision on Wednesday, October 21, on Rossiya 24 TV channel.
"It is criminal and irresponsible to help terrorists by inaction and hiding information," Yarovaya told journalists.
"Regardless of whether UK really has information that can be helpful in the fight against terrorism in Syria, the refusal itself denied something else — the policy announced by London to fight against IS and whether it is the real aim," she said. "On the other hand, knowing about criminals and hiding information means condoning cover-up of crimes, continuing terrorist atrocities that threaten not only the world but British nationals as well," she concluded.
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.
Russian Aerospace Defense Forces started delivering targeted strikes against IS facilities on September 30. Modernized Su-24M and Su-25 fighter jets are deployed in the aviation unit of Russia’s Aerospace Defense Forces formed in Syria, Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said. He stressed that all strikes were made after air reconnaissance and update of data obtained from the Syrian army headquarters. Aircraft armaments were not used to hit civil infrastructure facilities or areas near them.