Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov discussed ways of countering Islamic State terrorism Wednesday on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit. Russian presidential press-secretary Dmitry Peskov said, however, Russia has no plans to join the United States in military operations against ISIS.
Çavuşoğlu and Lavrof "exchanged views on the key issues of developing the bilateral relations, including in the context of preparation for the sixth meeting of the Russian-Turkish High-Level Cooperation Council," Tass quoted the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying.
Col.-Gen. Vladimir Shamanov, commander of Russia’s airborne troops, said Tuesday Russia was eager to help Syria in its fight against terrorism. “Of course, we will execute the decisions set forth by the country’s leadership, if there is a task at hand,” Russia Today quoted Shamanov as saying in reply to a question from a Syrian reporter.
Shamanov said that Russia and Syria had enjoyed “long-term good relations.” He added a number of military professionals in Syria had been trained in Russia and in the Soviet Union. Peskov said, however, Russian military involvement in Syria is not “on the agenda.”
The U.S.-led coalition launched airstrikes in Iraq and Syria in August 2014. The operation started after ISIS forces seized wide swaths of territory.