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Syrian Ambassador: Bashar Assad Backs International Strikes Against IS Militants

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Syrian President Bashar Assad has publicly announced his country’s position on its readiness to work with any international efforts within the UN to eradicate Islamic State (IS) militants operating in the region and supports airstrikes against them, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad told RIA Novosti in an interview Tuesday.

Updated 10:26 a.m. Moscow Time

MOSCOW, September 30 (RIA Novosti) - Syrian President Bashar Assad has publicly announced his country's position on its readiness to work with any international efforts within the UN to eradicate Islamic State (IS) militants operating in the region and supports airstrikes against them, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad told RIA Novosti in an interview Tuesday.

"Syrian President Bashar Assad himself said while describing the country's position that Syria is ready to cooperate with any international efforts within the frameworks of the UN while respecting and preserving the sovereignty of other states in line with international laws, including the UN. We fully support aerial strikes anywhere that are within the legal framework, therefore, US bombings in Syria are conducted after [Syria] is informed," Haddad said.

"It is in our interest that these strikes do not extend outside the announced goals, because we have doubts that the countries that have joined this coalition earlier financed [the militants] and opened their borders for them. Therefore, we doubt any efforts if they have not received a status of legitimacy, even if they are international [efforts]. We coordinate our actions with the Russians who have proven they are brothers, as well as with the Iranians and in Iraq," he continued.

On Monday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the United States should launch an investigation into possibly unlawful airstrikes in Syria, as reports suggested deaths among civilian population. On September 25, the US government said it was looking into reports about civilian casualties in Syria caused by the airstrikes carried out against extremist groups in the country but had no proof of civilian deaths.

Earlier in September, the United States formed an international coalition to fight IS militants. Washington and its allies have carried out a number of airstrikes on IS positions both in Syria and Iraq. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on September 26 that the coalition should seek consent of the countries in which the airstrikes are conducted.

The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting against the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group launched an offensive in northern Iraq and declared the establishment of a caliphate on the territories under its control.

Tags:
Bashar al-Assad, terrorism, airstrikes, UN
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