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    Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) gather during an operation to clear the al-Zirai district of Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq, January 18, 201

    Daesh Weakened in Syria, Iraq in Past Year Thanks to Russia-US Cooperation

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    The defeat of Daesh (outlawed in many countries) has neared over the past 12 months thanks to anti-terrorism cooperation between Russian and the United States, Samir Aita, a member of the Syrian Democratic Forum opposition party told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — He spoke on the occasion of the sixth anniversary of the beginning of the Syrian conflict.

    On March 15 and 16, 2011, the Syrian authorities suppressed demonstrations in Damascus against President Bashar Assad. Since then the country has been suffering from the civil war between government troops and numerous opposition and terrorist organizations.

    "The most positive outcomes in the last 12 months are some common US-Russia agreements to defeat IS [Daesh], as well as to force Iran and Turkey to end their proxy war in Syria. In summer 2015 IS was at its maximal expansion threatening Baghdad, Damascus and Irbil. In a year we found the Islamic State trapped in Mosul, Raqqa and Deir Ez Zor. A defeat of IS is in perspective even though it would be a difficult, long and costly battle especially for Iraqis and Syrians," Aita said.

    He added, however, that some states still attempt to wage proxy wars in Syria "to push towards defragmentation of the Arab country to return on their investment into the Syrian war."

    He urged Russia, the United States and China to compel these states to stop this policy, which may have "disastrous effects on the whole region."

    According to Aita, on the political track, the past year was marked by a notable progress toward the political settlement in Syria thanks to several rounds of proximity intra-Syrian talks in Geneva and to Astana process.

    Aita's statement comes as the Kazakh capital hosts the third round of intra-Syrian talks on March 14-15 with participation of Russia, Iran and Turkey, the guarantors of the Syria ceasefire agreement, the Syrian government and some military opposition groups.

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    anti-Daesh coalition, cooperation, Daesh, United States, Russia, Iraq, Syria
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