ABU DHABI, February 1. /TASS/. Russia considers the Iraqi troops’ operation to liberate Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) (terrorist group, outlawed in Russia - TASS) important. However, it is necessary to ensure civilians’ safety during this operation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday speaking at opening of the fourth session of the Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum.
"Of course, we do believe that the operation in Mosul is important, but it is necessary to take steps to protect civilians," he said.
"We support the Iraqi leadership’s decisive actions to regain control of territories seized by extremists. We provide assistance in this struggle by supplying Russian weapons and military equipment to Iraq and boosting the combat capability of the Iraqi armed forces," Lavrov added.
"We urge to consolidate national accord, comprehensive intra-Iraqi dialogue and advocate full respect for that country’s sovereignty. We are confident that any foreign military presence should be based on its official authorities’ consent," Russia’s top diplomat said.