Defense minister vows to stop spread of ISIL into Russia, allies’ countries

Russian Defense Minister Gen. Sergei Shoigu said that the activity of religious extremism under the flag of the so-called Islamic State has grown considerably as of late.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia cannot allow the spread of the Islamic State (ISIL) terrorist threat to reach Russia or its allies, Russian Defense Minister Gen. Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.

“The activity of religious extremism under the flag of the so-called Islamic State has grown considerably as of late. We cannot allow the growth of terrorist threats or its spread into Russia or our allies,” Shoigu said during a joint meeting between the Russian and Belarusian defense ministries.

Since September 30, Russia has been launching airstrikes against the ISIL positions in Syria at President Bashar Assad’s request, and provided military and technical assistance to Damascus beforehand.

“The Syrian government forces have switched from defense to offensive with our air support and liberated parts of their territory under control of Islamic State militants. We are going to continue assisting the legitimate Syrian authority and create preconditions for the conflict settlement,” Shoigu said.

Islamic State controls large parts of Iraq and Syria, and is notorious for committing human rights atrocities and killings, as well as destroying historic cities and memorials.

Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria created the Baghdad Information Center to coordinate military actions against the extremist group in late September.

Iraqi parliament is planning to vote on the issue of requesting the support of the Russian Aerospace Forces in fighting IS militants by the end of October, a member of the State of Law Coalition told Sputnik earlier in the day.

By Sputnik News