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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

ISIS leaders remain in close contact with Ankara – Lavrov.

ISIS leaders remain in close contact with Ankara – Lavrov. (RT).

The leaders of Islamic State maintain a constant liaison with the Turkish government, working out a new approach to the war in Syria as the Russian Air Force cuts off traditional smuggling routes, says Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Moscow has intelligence that Islamic State’s (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) command continues to hold backdoor negotiations with the Turkish leadership, Lavrov told Russian newspaper MK in a vast interview in honor of Diplomats’ Day.

The airstrikes of the Russian Air Force in Syria have severely disrupted “traditional smuggling routes,” so the Turks are discussing in all seriousness creation of “IS-free zones” in Syria.
“Of course [such zones] would be a violation of all principles of the international law and also escalate tensions, substantially and fundamentally,” Lavrov said, adding the Turks are constructing tent camps and some kind of “engineering structures” on the Syrian side of the border, some 200 meters inside the country’s territory.

At the same time the Russian FM does not believe that a full-scale Turkish invasion into Syria is possible; Ankara is expected to limit its actions to “small provocations.”
I do not believe that the US-led [anti-IS] coalition, which includes Turkey, would allow such desperate schemes to take shape, Lavrov said.

The Turks say openly that we have blown their plans [for Syria] wide open and now are trying to nail the Americans to the barn door, too, the Russian FM commented on Ankara’s recent demarche towards Washington, which was thrown into a dilemma to “choose between Turks and Kurds,  Lavrov said,

Honestly speaking, I do not consider the situation as irretrievable one,”Lavrov said, adding that at present close cooperation between Washington and Moscow in Syria is not possible due to a “restrain factor” of the US relations with allies in the Middle East region perceiving Russia as being a threat to their plans for Syria. Read the full story here.

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