Fighting ISIS only in Iraq is like extinguishing only half of a fire (Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)
British politicians and media are expressing their concern over the advance of terrorist Islamic State forces in Iraq and stress the need to counter this threat. The atrocities by Islamic radicals deserve the most strongest condemnation. The events in Iraq are another confirmation that terrorism is an absolute evil, and all responsible members of the international community should engage in coordinated efforts, rejecting any double standards.
In this situation one wonders why this extremist group, earlier known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, is perceived by the international community as a threat only in Iraq, but not in Syria, where it also operates. Innocent people suffer in both countries and fighting ISIS forces only in Iraq means that they can always regroup in Syria. That is why we believe that there is an urgent need for clear criteria of cooperation with governments in the Middle East and North Africa. The fight against terrorists must become such a criterion. If we are addressing terrorist threat in Iraq, the same should be done in other parts of the region, including Syria. With this in mind, the international community needs to establish counterterrorist cooperation with all the states that fight ISIS extremists.
Russia, for its part, supports the efforts of the legitimate Iraqi government in their uncompromising struggle against the terrorists– not only politically, but by providing, upon the Iraqi government’s request, necessary equipment and weapons. We will continue to do so. We appeal to all the Iraqi political forces to come to agreement in the spirit of national consent, which will allow to effectively confront any manifestations of extremism and terrorism in Iraq.
We also support the actions of Iraq’s other partners when taken upon official request of the legitimate Iraqi authorities.