Updated 11:46 a.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, October 20 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow is continuing to aid Syria and Iraq in the fight against terrorism, including large-scale deliveries of weapons, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
“We are continuing to aid the governments of Iraq and Syria, as well as other countries in the region in the fight against religious extremists that are fighting for power, and [this] includes supporting these governments with large-scale deliveries of weapons and military equipment so as to increase their fighting capacity,” Lavrov said.
Moscow calls for the consolidation of international efforts to combat the global threat of terrorism, the minister added.
Syria has been fighting various rebel and extremist groups since the civil war broke out in 2011. One of such organizations, the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has recently gained international attention. It has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012, but expanded its attacks to in Iraq in June 2014, seizing vast areas in both countries and announcing the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control.
Russia Ready to Create Coalition Against 'Islamic State,' But Through UN Security Council
Russia is ready to create a coalition in the fight against the terroristic Islamic State (IS), but only through the UN Security Council, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
"If speaking about a coalition, then let's make a coalition, let the UN Security Council make decisions that will be grounded on international law. I would say that fighting terrorism under geopolitical interests and attempts to punish undesirable regimes is very incorrect and even immoral," Lavrov said.
During a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry last week, Lavrov underscored that Moscow has been involved in counter-terrorism activities for a long time and is not interested in joining coalitions, established bypassing the UN Security Council.
The IS jihadist group has taken over large swathes of Iraqi and Syrian territory and declared a caliphate in the controlled areas in June. Washington launched airstrikes against the insurgents in Iraq in August, extending them to Syria the following month without an official approval from Damascus – a move, criticized by Russia.
US President Barack Obama has outlined a strategy to fight the IS and other terrorist organizations in the Middle East, which involves the creation of a broad multinational coalition. US Arab allies, the United Kingdom and France are among the countries taking part in air raids targeting the IS and other extremists.