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Syrian leader can stop Islamic State terrorist group — Russian security official

June 24, 2015, 11:41 UTC+3 TURKA VILLAGE
"If the Assad regime falls, then the IS next goal will be Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states," deputy Russian Security Council chief said
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TURKA VILLAGE/Buryatia/, June 24. /TASS/. The Persian Gulf countries should pray for Syrian President Bashar Assad who can stop the Islamic State militant group, deputy Russian Security Council chief Yevgeny Lukyanov said on Wednesday.

"I believe that countries of this region - Saudi Arabia, Persian Gulf states and may be others should pray for Bashar Assad. This is the last frontier of their security. If the Assad regime falls, then the IS next goal will be Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states," Lukyanov said.

Some 5,000 Saudi nationals are part of the IS, he said, adding: "When the active phase of confrontation ends there, where will they go? They will come back [home]. What can they do? They can only kill people," he said.

The return of IS gunmen is also a problem for Russia, the official said. "They are already coming back," he said, adding that the gunmen turn to Russia's diplomatic missions pretending to be tourists who have lost their passports.

"There is no country that would be immune from terrorist actions," Lukyanov stressed.

The IS differs from other groups as it does not just carry out terrorist acts, but it seizes territory and creates power bodies, courts and imposes a set of Sharia laws. "They create a state," he said.

The Islamic State has stepped up its activity and is now the center of international terrorism. The group was created as a result of a merger of several radical Sunni groups led by an Al Qaeda branch in Iraq.

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