Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that a global coalition is needed to fight the global terror threat posed by groups like the Islamic State group.
In a telegram to Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Putin wrote that “the widest international cooperation” was needed to confront global terrorism, according to a statement by the Kremlin.
The comments come in the wake of an Islamist attack that targeted foreigners at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali, which claimed the lives of 19 people in total.
The attack in the former French colony is one of three major terror attacks in the past month. Militants killed 130 in an orchestrated gun and suicide bomb attack in Paris on Nov. 13. For example, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the Oct. 31 bombing of Russian Flight 9268 flying from Sharm al-Sheikh to St. Petersberg. Most of 224 people killed in the blast were Russian tourists on holiday.
On Tuesday, Putin vowed to locate the bombers of Russian airliner, Metrojet, and hold them accountable for their actions.
“We will find them anywhere on the planet and punish them,” he said. Also on Tuesday, Putin spoke with France’s President Francois Hollande by phone to discuss how the two nations will fight the islamist threat they face.
Smoke caused by Russia’s airstrikes at an unknown location in Syria Oct. 21, 2015.| Photo: Reuters/Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation
Russia has since intensified its attacks on Islamic State group strongholds in Syria with the Russian military reporting that it fired 18 cruise missiles on Friday, destroying seven “Islamist” targets in Raqqa, Idlib and Aleppo provinces.
Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that more than 600 rebels had been eliminated as a result of a single cruise missile strike on a target in Syrian Deir ez-Zour province. Shoigu said Saturday that Russian warships in the Capsian sea fired 18 cruise missiles on “terrorist positions” in Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a meeting at the Kremlin, Oct. 20, 2015.| Photo: Reuters
However, Russia’s support of Syrian President Bashar Assad has angered the United States.
“The majority of Russian airstrikes are still against moderate Syrian opposition forces, which is clearly concerning, and those strikes are in support of the Syrian regime,” said Col Patrick Ryder, a spokesman for US Central Command.