BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — Pavel noted that it was important to distinguish between physical defeat of terrorists and triumph over their ideology.
"We do not understand terrorism only as Daesh… Countering terrorism is not just about defeating Daesh… This will be a long-lasting fight that will not end by taking Mosul and Raqqa. This fight will go on a much broader front, both military, but also economic, social, political, religious," Pavel told reporters.
NATO's Military Committee is in favor of the alliance formally joining the US-led coalition, he said. "The discussion is if NATO is to become the member of that coalition… The chiefs' of defense recommendation is that there is a merit for NATO becoming a member of that coalition," Pavel told reporters.
In November 2016, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which predominately consists of Kurdish fighters, but also includes members of the Syrian Arab Coalition, launched an operation called the Rage of Euphrates in order to seize control over Syrian Raqqa, the de facto Daesh capital, and are now starting the fourth stage of the campaign aimed at liberating the rural areas of Raqqa province from terrorists.
The city of Mosul has been occupied by Daesh, outlawed in many countries, including Russia, since 2014. The operation to retake it began on October 17, 2016 and resulted in the liberation of Mosul’s eastern part this January, but fighting continues in the city's western areas. The operation to liberate it started on February 19.