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Europe Unable to Use Force in Middle East, Relies on Russia, US

© Flickr / U.S. Department of DefenseUS fighter jets in Syria
US fighter jets in Syria - Sputnik International
Europe is incapable of using military force in the Middle East, and has come to rely on either Russia or the United States to counter threats on its doorsteps, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said on Thursday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — "It is just not possible for Europe to use force in the Middle East," Ilves stated during a Foreign Policy Initiative conference.

The lack of policy toward military intervention in the Middle East means "Europe is on the sidelines," Ilves explained.

"Who else is going to do it? Basically it’s the United States or Russia," he said.

Sukhoi Su-34 in flight - Sputnik International
Russian Su-34 Strike Fighters Combat ISIL in Syria
On Wednesday, Russia entered the international fight to destroy the Islamic State by conducting airstrikes in Syria. Russia’s military campaign has been undertaken on the invitation of the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Estonia and other European partners are currently contributing financially to the fight in Syria and Iraq to counter the Islamic State. Only a handful of European nations, including the United Kingdom, France, Denmark and the Netherlands have committed to offensive strikes against Islamic State targets.

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