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Airstrikes Not Enough to Eradicate Islamic State Militants: Lebanese Ambassador to Russia

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The international coalition formed by the United States to fight against the Islamic State (IS) extremists will not be able to destroy the militants completely with airstrikes alone, Lebanon's Ambassador to Russia, Chawki Bou Nassar, told RIA Novosti Friday.

MOSCOW, September 10 (RIA Novosti) – The international coalition formed by the United States to fight against the Islamic State (IS) extremists will not be able to destroy the militants completely with airstrikes alone, Lebanon's Ambassador to Russia, Chawki Bou Nassar, told RIA Novosti Friday.

"We hope that the airstrikes that the United States and the international coalition are conducting will put an end to terrorist groups in the region and in Lebanon. The war against the IS will be a long one. Airstrikes alone will not be able to eliminate this organization completely," Nassar said.

The ambassador added that Lebanon hopes for "coordinated international efforts" in the fight against the IS and "welcomes all international efforts aimed at eliminating these organizations".

"But the international community needs to respect the countries' sovereignty," Nassar stressed.

The 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, the IS launched an offensive in northern and western Iraq, subsequently proclaiming an Islamic caliphate on the territories it had ceased in both countries.

The United States started launching airstrikes against IS militants in Iraq in August.

In September, US President Barack Obama announced the formation of an international coalition, which currently includes over 60 countries, to fight the IS. The coalition has been launching airstrikes against IS targets in Iraq and Syria.

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