Updated 05:13 a.m. Moscow Time
UNITED NATIONS, September 24 (RIA Novosti) - Using force against the Islamic State is not sufficient, a political process must also be in place, said Staffan de Mistura, UN's special envoy for Syria.
"It is not enough to have a security response to [IS]. There is a need . . . for a political process to take place as well," de Mistura told reporters, noting that "everybody recognizes that", including Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The special envoy spoke to the media following a meeting with the Arab League on Tuesday.
"At this stage we have 3 priorities - anything to contribute to reduce the level of violence, anything we can do increase the access of aid even across the borders and inside Syria, and promote the political process," he stated.
When asked what role Iran could play, de Mistura said that "Iran is an important player and I hope a partner in what should be a political process."
De Mistura declined to comment on the US-led airstrikes conducted in Syria. "I would defer any comments on this issue to the Secretary General," he said.
Early Tuesday morning, the United States and a number of its Arab allies carried out a series of airstrikes against IS insurgent positions across Syria. According to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least eight civilians, including three children, were killed in the strikes.
US president Barack Obama unveiled his strategy for defeating the IS on September 10. The plan includes forming an international coalition to fight the radical organization and authorizing US airstrikes against IS positions in Syria, while simultaneously continuing airstrikes in Iraq, which the United States authorized in August.
The Islamic State (IS), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories over which it had control.