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Russia: Lavrov promises 'political and military decisions' if IS flees Mosul for Syria02:51

Russia: Lavrov promises 'political and military decisions' if IS flees Mosul for Syria

Russian Federation, Moscow
October 18, 2016 at 11:53 GMT -00:00 · Published

Russia is concerned that fighters of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) could flee the Iraqi city of Mosul for Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Moscow on Tuesday. Speaking alongside his Paraguayan counterpart Eladio Loizaga, Lavrov said “we are now following the operation, we are all interested in the defeat of the so-called Islamic State."

Lavrov stated that “as far as I know, the city is not fully encircled. I do not know the reason [for this] but I hope it’s because they simply could not do so, not because they would not do so." He warned that “this corridor poses a risk that Islamic State fighters could flee from Mosul and go to Syria." Russia's chief diplomat said “we will keep an eye on the situation and take both political and military decisions” if “more Islamic State contingents” emerge in Syria.

Lavrov also confirmed the “the halt in the airstrikes by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force has come into effect" in Aleppo. He described the move as “an act of goodwill in the hope that the pause will be employed to finally separate the armed groups supported and armed by the US, some EU members and countries of the region."

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced early Monday the start of a large-scale military operation to liberate Mosul from IS. The group captured Mosul in 2014 and the offensive is now spearheaded by the Iraqi army and Kurdish militia, supported in the air by a coalition led by the United States.

Early on Tuesday air strikes on Aleppo were halted ahead of the creation of a “humanitarian pause” set for Thursday. Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu urged all fighters and civilians in the east of the city to leave via "humanitarian corridors."

Russia: Lavrov promises 'political and military decisions' if IS flees Mosul for Syria02:51
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Russia is concerned that fighters of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) could flee the Iraqi city of Mosul for Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Moscow on Tuesday. Speaking alongside his Paraguayan counterpart Eladio Loizaga, Lavrov said “we are now following the operation, we are all interested in the defeat of the so-called Islamic State."

Lavrov stated that “as far as I know, the city is not fully encircled. I do not know the reason [for this] but I hope it’s because they simply could not do so, not because they would not do so." He warned that “this corridor poses a risk that Islamic State fighters could flee from Mosul and go to Syria." Russia's chief diplomat said “we will keep an eye on the situation and take both political and military decisions” if “more Islamic State contingents” emerge in Syria.

Lavrov also confirmed the “the halt in the airstrikes by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force has come into effect" in Aleppo. He described the move as “an act of goodwill in the hope that the pause will be employed to finally separate the armed groups supported and armed by the US, some EU members and countries of the region."

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced early Monday the start of a large-scale military operation to liberate Mosul from IS. The group captured Mosul in 2014 and the offensive is now spearheaded by the Iraqi army and Kurdish militia, supported in the air by a coalition led by the United States.

Early on Tuesday air strikes on Aleppo were halted ahead of the creation of a “humanitarian pause” set for Thursday. Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu urged all fighters and civilians in the east of the city to leave via "humanitarian corridors."

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