US, Russia cooperation crucial to defeat ISIS: EU official

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Russian fighter jets taking off. File photo

ARA News 

ISTANBUL – The United States and Russia must cooperate in the fight against the terror group of Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, the president of the European Council Donald Tusk said on Sunday.

“Russia should focus airstrikes on the radical Islamists and not the Syrian opposition,” Tusk added.

Tusk’s statements came on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the Turkish coastal province of Antalya. 

According to Tusk, the Russian airstrikes on opposition-held areas in Syria has increased the influx of refugees into Europe. 

“A common aim for us should be coordinating actions against Daesh and the cooperation between U.S. and Russia is a crucial one for sure,” Tusk continued, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.

The president of the European Council went on saying, “what is needed more than cooperation is ‘a good will’, especially from Russian action on the ground in Syria.”

“Russia must focus on ISIS targets rather than hitting the moderate Syrian opposition,” he added.

Russia started its military operations in Syria end of September. Although it claims that its airstrikes are only focused on terror group, reports confirmed that Russia has repeatedly bombed opposition-held areas across Syria. 

“Following Paris attacks, the G20 had to step up efforts to cut off terrorists funding sources,” Tusk argued.

“Terror networks cannot plan or operate without money. If we fully cooperate on exchange of information about suspicious transactions, we would mostly stop this threat effectively,” he concluded.

Reporting by: Egid Yousef

Source: ARA News

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