16:23 GMT17 February 2020
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    Czech Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky said that Russian military intervention could contribute to a more effective fight against the ISIL, adding that the issue could not be solved with the help of the air force alone.

    PRAGUE (Sputnik) — Czech intelligence services are investigating reports about the alleged participation of Russian aircraft in airstrikes against Islamic State (ISIL) militants in Syria, Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky said Thursday.

    On Monday, Israeli news outlet Ynet reported, citing anonymous Western officials, that Russia was sending fighter jets to Syria to conduct airstrikes against ISIL positions. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refuted the claims on Wednesday.

    "We want to verify this information, this is a very important message. I discussed it today with some of our special agencies. They are engaged in examining the data. It is very plausible that the reports are true," Stropnicky was quoted as saying by local Ceske noviny online publication.

    A US-led coalition of over 60 nations managed to stop the offensive of Islamic State (ISIL) militants in Syria and Iraq, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director said Sunday.
    © AFP 2019 / US NAVY / MC2 JACOB G. SISCO
    The minister said that Russian military intervention could contribute to a more effective fight against the ISIL, adding that the issue could not be solved with the help of the air force alone.

    Members of a US-led international coalition have been conducting airstrikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, where it has seized large territories, since August 2014. The military campaign in Syria is carried out without permission from Damascus.

    Russia has repeatedly criticized the coalition’s actions for not seeking approval from the UN Security Council. In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow would support the formation of an anti-terrorism coalition if Syria considered it appropriate and feasible.


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