Russia calls for joint efforts in fighting Islamic State in Syria

Military aid is consistent with a proposal by president Putin that all the forces battling the Islamic State combine efforts, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says.

Moscow intends to continue the provision of assistance to the Syrian government and calls for joint efforts in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group in this country, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview, excerpts of which were published by The New York Times on Monday.

"We have always supplied equipment to them for their struggle against terrorists," Zakharova is quoted by the newspaper. "We are supporting them, we were supporting them and we will be supporting them" in that fight.

"Ms. Zakharova said military aid was consistent with a proposal by [Russian President] Mr. Putin that all the forces battling the Islamic State combine efforts," the article says.

"Our proposal is to gather all the efforts together — all the international players, all Syria’s neighbours, all members of the opposition coalition, all of those who are involved," Ms. Zakharova said.

According to the publication, Zakharova "asserted that Moscow had already broached the idea with Washington. Since the idea is to share information among all the major players, she said, that would minimize the risk of any unexpected confrontation."

According to the newspaper, Russia is against deposing Syrian President Bashar Assad. "The problem is that the West cannot show one example of how they would manage the Syria story right after," Ms. Zakharova said. "What is the West planning to do right after? Do they have a magic wand that will transform Syria from civil war to economic prosperity?"

First published by TASS.

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