October 28, 2016

Russia welcomes UK Syria strikes

Two British Tornados returning from a mission in southern Cyprus December 3, 2015.

Russia has welcomed Britain for extending its airstrikes against Daesh (ISIS) in Syria and calls for a broader coalition to annihilate the terrorist group.

“We continue to welcome any action aimed at fighting terrorism,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by Russian media as saying on Thursday.

Peskov called for a broader coalition arguing that airstrikes without the Syria government approval lack a legal basis. “We believe that if such efforts are coordinated as part of a single coalition, they would become more effective,” he said.

The Kremlin spokesman added that Russia’s “doors are open” for the creation of such a coalition that would include Moscow, the West and some Middle Eastern states.

British PM speaking before a vote in Commons on Syria airstrikes on Dec.2, 2015

Britain joined the US-led bombing in Iraq in 2014. It has now started hitting terrorist hideouts in Syria following a parliamentary authorization on Thursday.

Meanwhile Russia, which started its aerial campaign in Syria following a request from Damascus in September, sees the West’s campaign as illegitimate since it lacks either a formal request from Damascus or a UN Security Council mandate.

“From the point of view of international law, the only country that is acting legitimately [in Syria], is the Russian Federation,” Peskov said.

Russian bomber during a mission against ISIL terrorists in Syria’s Homs (File)

There are currently about 35-hundred American troops in Iraq. President Barack Obama had previously announced sending dozens of special operations forces to Syria. However, there are persisting questions about effectiveness of over a year US-led campaign in the two Arab countries.

On the other side, the Syrian army has made remarkable gains since Russia began targeting terrorists there. Moscow has time and again, called the Syrian army as the force most capable of destroying terrorist groups in the country.

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