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    Russian military air group at Khmeimim airbase in Syria

    Russia Has a Shot at Bringing Stability to Syria – Former UK Ambassador

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin's alliance with Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad may add to ending the armed conflict in Syria, according to the former British Ambassador to Russia.

    In an interview with the Brazilian newspaper Folha, former British Ambassador to Moscow Anthony Brenton said that the alliance between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad may help put an end to the war in Syria.

    Brenton recalled that as far as the Middle East is concerned, President Putin's main objective has been to fight Islamic State and al-Qaeda militants.

    "There is good reason to believe that Russia, rather than the US or Europe, will be able to solve these problems. Russians act more aggressively and resolutely, and they have an ally in the region," Brenton said.

    He added that instead of concentrating on attempts to overthrow Assad, the Western countries should effectively cooperate with Russia when it comes to fighting terrorism.

    "I think that we should find the way to combat Islamic extremism in Syria together [with Russia], rather than focus on [the ouster of] Assad," Brenton said.

    He denied the US accusations that Russia's air operation in Syria is aimed at destroying Assad's opponents rather than terrorists. Brenton stressed that the Russian military operation's main goal is to struggle against extremism. 

    "Russia proceeded to decisive actions [in Syria] very quickly.    The reason is that Putin is seriously afraid of Islamic extremism. I saw him talking about the matter. This is a direct threat to Russia," Brenton pointed out.

    In conclusion, he said that right now, the most urgent measure is to achieve coordination between Russia and the West in order to avoid accidents in the airspace of Syria.According to Brenton, it would help to jointly start outlining common goals and a shared political stance on Syria.

    On September 30, more than fifty Russian aircraft, including Su-24M, Su-25 and Su-34 warplanes, commenced precision airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria at the behest of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    Earlier that day, the Russian upper house of parliament unanimously supported the request of President Vladimir Putin to deploy units of the Russian Aerospace Forces abroad.

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    Tags:
    Daesh, extremism, military operation, alliance, al-Qaeda, Bashar Assad, Vladimir Putin, Syria, Russia
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