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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Russia to take steps if Islamic State moves from Mosul to Syria — Lavrov.

Russia to take steps if Islamic State moves from Mosul to Syria — Lavrov. (Tass).

Moscow will take military measures should militants of the Islamic State (outlawed in Russia as a terrorist organization - TASS) move from Mosul to Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

"Mosul is a large city with a civilian population of 1.5 million, if not more," Lavrov said. "We keep an eye on this operation, of course, because all of us are interested in defeating the so-called Islamic State."

"The city is surrounded, but not completely. I do not know why. Possibly, they’ve just failed," Lavrov said. "It is to be hoped they just failed, and not were reluctant to do so."

"Anyway, the remaining corridor is fraught with the risk the Islamic State may move from Iraq’s Mosul to Syria," he said. "Of course, we will keep an eye on the situation and take both political and military decisions, if that happens, if in Syria, where our military group is present at the request of the legitimate government, there will emerge more Islamic State contingents."

According to the Russian top diplomat, it is yet unclear whether the Iraqi army’s Shia units are taking part in this operation and what is the role of the Kurd militias and Turkey.

"As you know, Turkish troops are deployed there and the Iraqi government is protesting against that," Lavrov noted.

"Moreover, there are 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq who are referred to by Washington as ‘advisers.’ Anyway, 5,000 ‘advisers’ are a big force," he said. Read the full story here.

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