16:41 GMT08 April 2020
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    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)

    Russia will continue delivering strikes on terrorists in Syria, Russia's deputy foreign minister said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia will continue its fight against terrorism in Syria even if an agreement on a ceasefire is reached, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said.

    “Strikes against facilities from terrorist groups will continue in any case even if a ceasefire is reached in Syria,” Gatilov said in an interview with Germay’s Spiegel.

    Syria will fall as a state if President Bashar Assad were to resign today, the diplomat said.

    “If he were to go now, Syria would completely collapse as a state. It seems even the Americans see it this way today.”

    Bashar Assad could have impeded the escalation in the country had he conducted democratic reforms on time, he said.

    “The [Syrian] government made many mistakes after which outside forces became involved. Bashar Assad could have impeded the escalation had he held democratic reforms in time,” Gatilov told Spiegel.

    He added that terrorist groups took advantage of the situation due to the fact that the reforms had not been implemented.

    Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011 as opposition factions as well as extremist groups such as Daesh, which is prohibited in many countries, such as Russia and the United States, have fought the Syrian Army in an effort to topple the government of Assad.

    According to the UN estimates, some 30,000 foreign fighters from more than 100 states are fighting within the ranks of Daesh, as well as of related terror groups.

    The diplomat said that the development of the situation largely depends on Ankara's actions.

    “Much depends on Turkey. Unfortunately, its position at the present time is not constructive. Ankara has its own ambitions and its own agenda in the region,” the deputy foreign minister added.

    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)
    ceasefire, terrorism, Bashar al-Assad, Gennady Gatilov, Turkey, Syria, Russia
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