The Russian military forces have achieved impressive results in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a meeting of the Council of CIS Heads of State on Friday.
"Attacking the targets previously agreed with the Syrians from the air and sea, our troops have achieved impressive results. They destroyed hundreds of operation centers and ammunition depots, hundreds of terrorists and large numbers of military equipment," the Russian leader said.
He noted that Russia was committed to "forming the broadest coalition to counter extremists and terrorists."
"Russia has repeatedly warned of the danger of the strengthening of radical forces in this region, advocating consistently and at all levels the need to join forces of the international community to confront extremist groups. In this context, we felt it was our duty to take concrete steps in the fight against the so-called Islamic State and other radical groups in Syria," Putin said.
He recalled that the operation of the Russian Aerospace Forces involving Caspian Flotilla ships "fully conforms to international law and is absolutely legitimate, since it is carried out on the basis of the official request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad."
"It has strictly defined frames, aircraft and other means are used exclusively for attacking terrorist groups. There are also time limits coinciding with the Syrian forces’ offensive operations against terrorists," the president said.
The president pointed out that progress has been achieved in coordinating steps on anti-IS fight in Syria, adding that contacts have been established with Middle East countries.
"Certain progress is seen here in the context of coordinating actions and efforts on the fight against terrorism in this region," Putin said at the meeting of the Council of CIS heads of state in a narrow format.
"We have managed to establish business contacts with the Middle East countries," Putin said.
Russia is now in talks with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and other countries and tries to establish cooperation with the United States and Turkey, he added.
At the meeting, the Russian leader once again stressed Moscow’s commitment to creating a broad coalition to fight against terrorism and called on all the parties concerned to join the work of the information center in Baghdad.
Russia, Syria, Iran and Iraq have set up the information center in Bagdad to coordinate fight against the IS group, which is banned in Russia. The information center will be tasked with collecting, processing, analyzing and summarizing the information on the situation in the Middle East as part of the effort to fight against the IS.
From 5,000 to 7,000 nationals of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries are fighting alongside the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, according to various estimates, Putin said at the meeting.
"According to various estimates, already between 5,000 and 7,000 descendants from Russia and other CIS countries are fighting on the side of the IS. Of course, we cannot allow that they use today's experience in Syria later in our home," Putin said at the meeting of the Council of CIS heads of state.
Putin stressed the growing need for cooperation in countering international terrorism and in the framework of the CIS, the alliance of former Soviet states.
Putin said that CIS countries should be ready to counter attempts of terrorists to break into Central Asia and stressed that it is necessary to closely monitor the situation near the CIS external borders.Putin also noted the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.
"Terrorists of different types are gaining more influence, and they do not hide their plans for further expansion. One of their aims is to break into the Central Asian region," the Russian president said.
"It is important for us to be ready to provide coordinated response to such scenario," Putin added noting the importance of military cooperation concept of CIS countries until 2020 which is planned to be approved at the summit.
"It is necessary to ensure the effective work of the CIS Anti-Terrorism Center, to continue coordinating the work of intelligence agencies and exchanging information. It is particularly important to closely monitor the situation near the external borders of the commonwealth," the Russian president said.
First published by TASS.
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