Sunday Sep 28, 201402:55 PM GMT
Russia urges Iran’s participation in anti-ISIL battle
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called for the involvement of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the campaign against the Takfiri ISIL terrorists operating inside Syria and neighboring Iraq.

“Iran of course should be part of the efforts to fight ISIL, because Iran is a strong opponent of this group,” Lavrov said in an interview with Bloomberg television on Saturday.

The top Russian diplomat also stressed the need for cooperation with the Syrian government in the fight against terrorism.

“To ignore Iran in this fight and not to invite it for cooperation is a mistake, just like it is a mistake not to consult with the Syrian government and not to cooperate with it,” he added.

The ISIL terrorists control large areas of Syria’s east and north. They sent militants into Iraq in June, seizing large parts of the land straddling the border between Syria and Iraq.

Since earlier this week, the US and its Arab allies have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate. The airstrikes are an extension of the US-led aerial campaign against ISIL positions in Iraq.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Lavrov noted that it was “not logical at all” for the administration of US President Barack Obama to refuse to cooperate with Syria following a deal to eliminate its chemical weapons arsenal.

The Syrian government agreed to give up its chemical weapons under a US-Russia deal signed in September 2013. Under the agreement, Syria would have its chemical weapons eliminated by the middle of 2014 and the US would in return not carry out planned strikes on the Arab country.

Earlier in June, Syria handed over the last of its chemical weapons stockpile to a joint mission led by the UN and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.

SSM/HMV/SS

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