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SOCHI, October 22. /TASS/. The ground operation against the Islamic State terrorists in Syria should be conducted by the army of the country’s President Bashar al-Assad, head of the Kremlin administration Sergey Ivanov said on Thursday. According to him, this fight element is essential.
"This should be done by the Syrian army, Kurdish militias, and everything depends on the degree of interaction. Because no success is possible without an operation on the ground, no matter how many airstrikes are made," he told reporters.
According to the Russian presidential administration chief, the fight in Syria is conducted not only against the Islamic State organization [that is outlawed in Russia], but also with many other terrorist organizations, including the Boko Haram group that has recently joined the terrorists fighting in Syria. "Global terrorism vividly manifests itself here," Ivanov said.
He said that Russia has always realised that success cannot be achieved though an air operation alone and that the actions should be coordinated with the Syrian ground forces. "[The actions should be coordinated], in fact, with anyone who sincerely wants to combat the obscurantists, terrorists who cut off people’s heads, rape women, and the like. Here, we are allies with everybody. Naturally, with all the external players as well," he said.
The official stressed Russia hopes for forming a broad coalition to fight against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization in Syria.
It is necessary to form a coalition together with Middle Eastern countries, US and Europe, he added. "We hope for this [creating a coalition]. We have been hoping for this for a long time," Ivanov added.
Ivanov noted that Moscow has long been making efforts to involve moderate Syrian opposition to the process of political settlement in the country. "We understand that this should be done, first of all, together with countries neighboring Syria - Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt - a very important player, Jordan, Iraq. And, of course, with our American partners and European partners. We are ready for this," Ivanov stressed.