MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Airstrikes on the territory of sovereign states without their consent is inadmissible even when fighting terrorism, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Saturday.
"Terrorism can only be defeated by joint efforts. [We] are ready to cooperate with our European partners if international norms on the use of force are strictly observed. Airstrikes on the territory of sovereign states without their consent, as it is happening in Syria, is inadmissible."
In an interview with RIA Novosti, the deputy minister underscored:
"Even a partial victory of extremists — that is the creation of a mini-caliphate in Iraq and Syria — cannot be allowed. Such victories of al-Qaeda heirs can encourage Islamists of extreme views that can crop up in any part of the world."
ISIL has been operating in Syria since 2012 and in Iraq since 2014. It seeks to take over even larger territory than it already has and establish a caliphate on the areas it controls.
An international coalition of countries, led by the United States, has been carrying out airstrikes on the militants' positions in an effort to stop their advance.