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Russia ready to coordinate efforts with US-led coalition on liberating Raqqa — FM

May 24, 16:34 UTC+3
According to the Russian foreign minister, Russia and the United States have agreed to switch over from information exchange to coordination of their anti-terrorism efforts
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© EPA/US NAVY / Christopher Lindahl

TASHKENT, May 24. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said Russia is ready to coordinate efforts with US-led coalition and Kurdish forces in Syria to liberate Raqqa.

"I cannot say whether reports that such actions have already started are true, but we are ready for coordination - that I can confirm," Lavrov said on Tuesday commenting on the statement of a representative of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party that soon an active phase an offensive at Raqqa will start with participation of Kurds, the United States and Russia.

"Raqqa is one of the aims of the anti-terrorist coalition, just like Iraq’s Mosul. We are confident that these cities could have been liberated more effectively and faster if our military officials (of Russia and US) would have started coordinating their actions much earlier," the foreign minister noted.

"There is a chance now that such coordination will take place. We think that Russian Aerospace Defense Forces and US-led coalition’s aviation should work synchronously, in coordination, and help those on the ground to really resist terrorist units. First of all, among them [forces on the ground] are, of course, armed forces of the Syrian Arab Republic, and, of course, different groups of Kurdish forces, including the armed part of the Democratic Union Party," Lavrov said.

Russia, US agree to coordinate their anti-terrorism efforts

According to the minister, Russia and the United States have agreed to switch over from information exchange to coordination of their anti-terrorism efforts, practical aspects of these issues are now being discussed by the two countries’ military.

"We have agreed with our American partners, not overnight but through clearing up their doubts and reflections and even overcoming their resistance, to finally switch over from information exchange to coordination of anti-terrorism efforts. Practical aspects of these issues are now being looked at by our defense ministries. As you know, full-time communications channels have been established between the Russia airbase at Hmeimim and US representatives in the Jordanian capital city. There is a direct Moscow-Washington link. Naturally, we have the Geneva-based round-the-clock Russian-U.S. center for Syria truce monitoring," Lavrov told journalists.

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