MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The rise of the Islamic State (ISIL) extremists in Syria and Iraq stems, among other things, from irresponsible outside interference, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed.
“Today’s developments in Syria and Iraq stem, among other things, from a heavy-handed and irresponsible interference from the outside into the affairs of the region and unilateral use of force, ‘double standards’, and differentiating between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ terrorists,” Putin said in an interview with the Egyptian Al-Ahram newspaper.
“In essence, the terrorists are trying to gain control over a huge part of Iraq and Syria with a population of nearly 10 million. And they already threaten countries which are far from the Middle East region. We have witnessed this in France, Australia, and Canada,” Putin said.
The president also stressed that airstrikes carried out by the international US-led coalition are alone not enough to battle the militant group. “What is more, such actions lack legitimacy since they were not directly sanctioned by the UN Security Council and in certain cases are taken without the consent of states whose territories are being targeted by strikes,” Putin said.
IS, a radical Sunni group also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has declared the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the vast territories of Syria and Iraq under their control.
The international US-led coalition against the group has been carrying out airstrikes against the militants' positions in Iraq and Syria since September.