MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. The operation of Russia’s air group in Syria has contributed a great deal to turning the tide of events in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a 2015 review news conference in Moscow on Tuesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initiative for forming a wide anti-terrorist coalition under the aegis of the United Nations was one of the key developments of 2015, Lavrov said.
"The operation of Russia’s air group in response to a request from the Syrian leadership really made it possible to turn the tide of events in the country and to cause the terrorists-controlled area to shrink," Lavrov said. "Also, it became clear who fights the terrorists in earnest and who is their accomplice and tries to use them for their selfish aims."
According to Lavrov, the UN Secretariat should provide honest and detailed reports on the implementation of the UN Security Council’s resolutions on curbing terrorist financing.
"Our active participation in the anti-terror struggle has contributed to the passing of a number of important resolutions of the UN Security Council aimed at curbing terrorist financing and the phenomenon of foreign terrorist gunmen. We are seeking their scrupulous implementation and honest and detailed reports of the UN Secretariat on who and how meets one’s commitments on these important documents," Lavrov said.
According to the foreign minister, the first report on compliance with the UN Security Council’s resolution on curbing financing of terrorist groups has not mentioned the oil smuggling from Syria to Turkey
"According to our unofficial data, the report in fact says nothing about such a phenomenon as oil smuggling from Syria to Turkey. This is outrageous," Lavrov stressed.
Moscow will check the reports and is sending the signal to the UN Secretariat, he said. The illegal oil deals, which have been reported by mass media, should be included in the report, the minister added.
"We will seek this. We will not allow to wind up and bury all this in oblivion," he said.
Lavrov stressed the UN Secretariat should provide honest and detailed reports on the implementation of the UN Security Council’s resolutions on the fight against IS (the Islamic State terrorist group outlawed in Russia) and other terrorist organizations and their financing.
"Our active participation in the anti-terror struggle has contributed to the passing of a number of important resolutions of the UN Security Council aimed at curbing terrorist financing and the phenomenon of foreign terrorist gunmen. These are resolutions 2199 and 2253," he said.
"We are seeking their scrupulous implementation and honest and detailed reports of the UN Secretariat on who and how meets one’s commitments on these important documents," he noted.
"Concerning the anti-terror resolutions on Syria, we are determined not to allow any juggling (with UN resolutions)," Lavrov said. "We are closely following the activities of the UN Secretariat, which is supposed to prepare information and subsequently reports on how the parties comply with these resolutions."
Russia’s Aerospace Force started delivering strikes in Syria at facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groups (both banned in Russia) on September 30, 2015. The air group initially comprised over 50 aircraft and helicopters, including Sukhoi Su-24M, Su-25SM and state-of-the-art Su-34 aircraft. They were redeployed to the Khmeimim airbase in the province of Latakia. On October 7, Moscow also involved the Russian Navy in the military operation. Four missile ships of the Caspian Flotilla fired 26 Kalibr cruise missiles (NATO codename Sizzler) at militants’ facilities in Syria.
In mid-November, after an alleged terrorist attack on Russian passenger jet that fell in Egypt killing 224 people on board, Moscow increased the number of aircraft taking part in the operation in Syria by several dozen and involved strategic bombers in the strikes as well. Targets of the Russian aircraft include terrorists’ gasoline tankers and oil refineries. Russia’s aircraft have made thousands of sorties since the start of the operation in Syria, with over a hundred of them performed by long-range aircraft.
On November 24, a Turkish F-16 fighter brought down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber involved in Moscow’s military operation against the Islamic State (a terrorist group outlawed in Russia). Ankara claimed the warplane violated the Turkey’s airspace. The Russian Defense Ministry said the warplane was flying over Syrian territory without violating Turkey’s airspace. The Russian president referred to the attack as a “stab in Russia’s back” and promised that the move would cause response action from Russia. Moscow deployed new S-400 air defense systems in Syria in order to protect the warplanes involved in the military operation and started arming the fighters intended to provide air support to bombers and attack aircraft in Syria with air-to-air missiles.