Vladimir Putin came in from the cold as relations between Moscow and Western leaders thawed over a combined desire to see the terrorist hate group wiped off the face of the earth.
In a landmark announcement the US and Russian led coalitions currently operating in Syria agreed to put aside disagreements over the future of dictator Bashar al-Assad to focus all their firepower on jihadi militants. The move comes as Britain is poised to join the growing number of countries committed to obliterating ISIS from the air.
Mr Putin and French President Francois Hollande, who have enjoyed an increasingly warm relationship in the aftermath of the horrific Paris attacks, reached the breakthrough compromise during crunch talks last night.The firebrand Russian leader even had warm words for the US-led coalition – set to include the UK – and offered to temporarily put aside political differences for the greater good.
The two leaders agreed to work closer together to eradicate the jihadis
The agreement could see airstrikes against ISIS intensify
He said: ”We view the US-led coalition with respect and stand ready to cooperate with it.“We believe that we would better create a single, united coalition as it would be easier, simpler and more efficient to coordinate our work that way.“If our partners aren’t ready for that, OK, we are ready to work in a different format that is acceptable to our partners. We are ready to cooperate with the U.S.-led coalition.”
Until now the West and Russia have been pummelling the jihadis separately
A global coalition is set to step up its battle against the jihadis
ISIS has claimed responsibility for deadly attacks against both French and Russian citizens in recent weeks.On November 13 the jihadi hate group carried out gun and suicide bomb attacks in Paris killing 130 people.Weeks earlier the terrorists smuggled a bomb on board an airliner which blew up over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, killing 224 predominantly Russian passengers and crew.Mr Hollande has been on a diplomatic drive since the Paris attacks to increase cooperation in tackling ISIS, which holds swathes of territory in both Syria and Iraq.
Referring to ISIS by their Arabic name he said: “We agreed on a very important issue – to strike the terrorists only, Daesh and the jihadi groups only, and not to strike the forces and the groups that are fighting against the terrorists.“And we are going to exchange some information about that, what can be struck, and what must not be struck.”But at the same time the relationship between Turkey and Russia plummeted to sub zero amid bitter recriminations over the downing of a a Russian warplane in Syria.
We view the US-led coalition with respect and stand ready to cooperate with it
Mr Putin has suspended a visa-free travel arrangement with Turkey and announced he will plough millions of pounds into a new missile defence system as relations between Moscow and Ankara plummeted to freezing point.The strongman Russian president accused Turkish authorities of refusing to share intel about Russian Islamic State (ISIS) jihadis and suggested that the US had been complicit in the downing of one of his warplanes over Syria.
Relationships between Moscow and Turkey have continued to deteriorate
Mr Putin has sent a new rocket system to Syria in retaliation
In retaliation he announced strict new travel conditions between the two countries, to come into effect in the new year, and said a state-of-the-art missile system will be sent to Syria to protect Russian bombers flying sorties against ISIS.There has been a tense stand-off between Russia and Turkey since the Turkish airforce downed a Russian Sukhoi jet over Syria earlier this week.Turkey claims that the jet entered its airspace and was repeatedly warned to leave.
Russia says that its plane never left Syrian airspace, where it was conducting bombing raids against Russian jihadis hiding out in a remote mountain region.Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusolgu said his country does “not favour tensions” and wants to resolve the dispute through diplomacy.
But a furious Mr Putin said the Middle Eastern nation had ”thoughtlessly and rudely” severed ties with his country and called for the Ankara-backed Syrian Turkmen group to be “blacklisted” by the international community.The group’s fighters claim to have shot at the two pilots of the Russian jet after the ejected from their burning craft, killing one in the air.
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