Damascus and Moscow have agreed to take steps to block the Syrian border with Turkey and cut off supply lines for the Islamic State and other jihadi groups.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced the effort on Friday after talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.

“We actively support that. We are open for coordination of practical steps, certainly, in interaction with the Syrian government,” Lavrov said about an earlier proposal by French President Francois Hollande. “We are convinced that by blocking the border we will in many respects solve the tasks to eradicate terrorism on Syrian soil.”

“We hope that initiative by President Hollande will be implemented within the framework of our joint work, including in the Group of Support for Syria,” he added.

Lavrov doubted Ankara’s dedication to eliminating IS.

“The hotbed of terrorist treat is concentrated in vast territories of Syria and Iraq,” he said. “It is the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and we have a common opinion that it can be exterminated only without any double standards. Special responsibility in terms of denouncing such double standards and acting in a united front against terrorism rests on Syria’s neighbor countries,” he said, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

Earlier this month the German newspaper Deutsche Welle published a report documenting the transfer of supplies across the Turkish border to areas controlled by the Islamic State.

The Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet also published reports revealing the transfer of weapons to Syria by Turkey’s intelligence agency. The Turkish government responded to the reports by arresting journalists.

Operation Total Destruction

On Saturday the Egyptian news website al-Youm al-Sabe’ posted a report indicating Russia will soon launch a massive operation dubbed “Total Destruction,” according to Iran’s FARS news agency.

The report said Russia will use Sukhoi fighter jets, Tupolev bombers, submarines and warships deployed in the Mediterranean Sea against the Islamic State.

Last week Russia deployed its advanced S-400 anti-aircraft system in Syria.


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