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MOSCOW, November 9. /TASS/. Restoring peace and security to Syria, reviving its economy and infrastructure will help mitigate the refugee crisis in Europe and enable many Syrians to make decision to return to their home country, Russian president’s special envoy for the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, said in an interview with the Russian View magazine published on Monday.
"The situation that we witnessed in September, when Syrian refugees were flooding Europe, was to a large extent the result of the aggravation of the situation in Syria," he said. "From summer 2015, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia — TASS] has vigorously extended its sphere of influence swallowing up smaller armed groups, despite the airstrikes of the US-led coalition."
"On the territories under their control the militants have practiced extrajudicial punishments and killings that might have been taken from a horror film. Unfortunately, the reality has been even grimmer — the entire world has seen the videos that feature ISIL slaughterers torturing people, shooting them with machine guns and grenade launchers, burning them alive," the Russian diplomat said.
"No wonder that common Syrians have to run for their lives," Bogdanov noted. "Many of them flee to areas controlled by the government troops, others head towards more fortunate countries (including European states) in an effort to escape from the horrors of the Syrian conflict and get away from the humanitarian disaster."
"In relation to the Syrian refugee issue, we will have to deal not only with the consequences, but — more importantly — with the underlying cause," he stressed. He said he was confident that "restoring peace and security to Syria, rebuilding its economy and infrastructure will help defuse the issue and enable many Syrians to make the right strategic decision to return to their home country."