Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that terrorists operating on Syrian territory must be obliterated before they have a chance to escape and endanger other countries. Lavrov’s comments on Friday came during a press conference in the Russian capital, alongside his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, who was on a working visit to Moscow, Efe news reported. “We share France’s concern over the possibility that terrorists may flee from Syria to Europe, Asia or Russia, and start creating new threats,” he said, adding that they “must be obliterated, none should be allowed to escape”.
The Russian diplomat pointed out that the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, was in the process of finalizing a new round of negotiations in Geneva between representatives of the Syrian government and moderate opposition. He said Russia and France both agreed on the need to resolve the conflict in Syria by a diplomatic means.
For his part, Le Drian said the departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should not be a prerequisite for a political transition process there.
Earlier on Friday, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced that one of its airstrikes had killed the so-called “war minister” of the Islamic State terror organization, Gulmurod Khalimov, as part of a raid that destroyed an IS communications center and an underground command post.