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IS doomed if Russia and US coordinate their actions in Syria - Russian lawmaker

February 23, 15:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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
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MOSCOW, February 23. /TASS/. Terrorists operating on Syrian territory will stand no chance if Russia and United States manage to coordinate their actions in the region toward groups fighting against the authorities, State Duma’s International Affairs Committee member Adalbi Shkhagoshev told TASS on Tuesday.

Commenting on the results of telephone talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Barack Obama, Shkhagoshev said that "the reached agreements are very important diplomatically and politically."

"Russia and US say: ‘Our military will establish where terrorist groups are and where opposition and Syrian government army are’. This is a great achievement. If they manage to separate (between opposition and terrorists), then ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - former name of Islamic State terrorist organization banned in Russia) and other terrorist organizations fighting in Syria and Iraq will have almost no chance. Imagine if Russian Aerospace Defense Forces’ high-precision actions are joined (professionally and not like usually) by United States," he added.

"Of course, this is a breakthrough. This is the second breakthrough since the agreement was reached between US and Russia on destruction of chemical weapons," he noted. The fact that opposition forces that remained in the shadows now agreed to sit down at the negotiations table is "evidence that Russia and US, despite provocations from Turkey and other countries and forces acting in the Middle East, want to resolve the Syrian conflict," the lawmaker noted.

Cessation of hostilities is due to come into force in Syria on February 27, a joint statement of the United States and Russia said. The statement was released by the U.S. Department of State on Monday. "The cessation of hostilities commence at 00:00 (Damascus time) on February 27, 2016," the joint statement said.

"The United States of America and the Russian Federation, as co-chairs of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and seeking to achieve a peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis with full respect for the fundamental role of the United Nations, are fully determined to provide their strongest support to end the Syrian conflict and establish conditions for a successful Syrian-led political transition process, facilitated by the UN," it said.

The statement points out that the cessation of hostilities is to be applied to all parties to the Syrian conflict but for Daesh (the Arabic acronym for Islamic State) and Jebhat an-Nusra (both are banned in Russia) "or other terrorist organizations designated by the UN Security Council."

Russia's military operation in Syria

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.

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