Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that Russia admits the possibility of airstrikes against groups that have merged with the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, in Syria.
Russia admits the possibility of airstrikes against groups that have merged with the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, in Syria, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Thursday.
“We are witnesses to the continuing merger of these groups [the Jaysh al-Islam and the Ahrar Al-Sham] with the organizations that have been universally recognized as terrorist. It goes without saying that the task of struggle against terrorism remains a key one for us,” he said, answering a question about if these groups might now be regarded as legitimate targets for the Russian Aerospace Forces. “I would not rule out any options in that sphere. But normalization of the situation requires implementation of what has been agreed on.”
Meanwhile, on Monday, Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoy said that neither Russian nor Syrian sides had any role in the last week’s alleged airstrikes in Syria.
On Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that militants, supported by the US, are being bombed by the Syrian government, and demanded Russia to stop these violations of the truce, signed on September 9.
“I feel we must respond to State Secretary John Kerry’s ungrounded accusations, concerning ‘indiscriminate bombing’ by the Syrian Air Force. Neither Russian nor Syrian Air Force carried out airstrikes in the past week against areas identified in the Geneva agreement,” Rudskoy said.
According to the Lieutenant General, the truce is regularly violated by militant groups, and for this reason there is no point in unilaterally abiding by the ceasefire regime for the Syrian government.