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Russia will fight ISIL alone if it has to – Kremlin
March 6, 2017, 8:29 am

Sukhoi-24 fighters, such as the one above, have flown hundreds of sorties over Syria and destroyed a number of Islamist rebel bunkers, often in cooperation with NATO member Turkey’s air force, the Russian military said [Xinhua]


Russia has responded to media speculation that the probes into contact between affiliates of US President Donald Trump and Russian officials may force the White House to scale back on military cooperation with Moscow.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told the Russian news agency TASS that Moscow will continue fighting the Islamic State with or without US help.

“There have been no real progress in cooperation in combating terrorism, either, which causes regret,” Peskov said.

Russia has worked closely with US ally and fellow NATO member Turkey in carrying out a number of air raids against Islamic State targets in Syria in the past two months.

In January, Russian sources said that US intelligence was passed on to their military commanders to carry out a bombing raid against Islamic State targets.

During their phone call last month, Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had signaled closer military cooperation against the Islamic State; this had been a Trump campaign promise.

However, with the political fallout in Washington, there have been increasing calls among political pundits that US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions should resign for meeting Russian Ambassador to the US Vitaly Kislyak who US media has called a spy.

Russia has denied that Kislyak is a spy instead saying he is a veteran diplomat with a long history of contacts with diplomats from many countries.

“We see a highly emotional atmosphere. But before making any evaluations, we should wait for everyone to calm down and the situation to stabilize,” Peskov said on Sunday.

In the absence of a strong US diplomatic presence in talks over Syria, Russia has formed a diplomatic alliance with Turkey and Iran to convene peace conferences and push through negotiations of all sides in the conflict.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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