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Russian official: UK airstrikes against IS can be welcomed in case they hit terrorists

December 03, 2015, 9:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The official did not rule out that "Britons may have different targets"

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© EPA/Cpl Andy Holmes / HANDOU

MOSCOW, December 3. /TASS/. Russian Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev has said UK airstrikes against terrorists in Syria can be welcomed only in case they hit the announced targets.

"Though this decision (UK involvement in the military operation against Islamic State terrorist organization), just like other actions of the so-called US-led coalition on Syria, have no international legal grounds (while Russia undoubtedly has them), every airstrike against terrorists, if it what it is, hits the sought target that corresponds with our targets," Kosachev wrote on Thursday on his Facebook page. "And this can be welcomed. But I will repeat, only if these airstrikes hit the announced targets," he added.

Kosachev wrote that "it is important that formally the British parliament has made a decision about the country’s involvement in the military operation against ISIL militants (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - former name of IS) in Syria, and not in support of the anti-government opposition."

The official did not rule out that "Britons may have different targets." "Time will show what war Great Britain entered - anti-terrorist or civil," he concluded.

Media reported earlier that UK has delivered its first airstrikes at IS positions in Syria today. The British parliament sanctioned the launch of airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria on Wednesday, During the voting that took place on Wednesday evening, 397 MPs supported Prime Minister David Cameron’s proposal to launch airstrikes against IS while 223 MPs voted against it.

Islamic State terrorist group

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.

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