The Russian anti-terrorist operation in Syria helped to put an end to the Islamic State (Daesh in Arabic) jihadist group’s expansion in the country, an Italian member of the European Parliament told Sputnik on Friday.


On September 30, Moscow began its campaign in Syria on Damascus’ request, during which the Russian Aerospace Forces conducted precision airstrikes against the extremists’ targets. On March 14, President Vladimir Putin ordered to withdraw most of Russia’s military contingent from Syria after accomplishing its objective.


“The Russian intervention in Syria helped to stop the expansion of Daesh, and eliminated the so called ‘grey zone’ of the policies of some Arab countries,” Stefano Maullu  said commenting on the results of the Russian presence in Syria.


Speaking with the nation during his annual Direct Line show on Thursday, Putin expressed hope that the ongoing ceasefire would lead to a political settlement of the Syria crisis.


Commenting on Putin’s statement, Maullu noted that “the peace process will be done when all the interlocutors, with the exception of terrorists, will sit at the same table.”


Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad fighting numerous opposition factions and extremist groups, such as Daesh and the Nusra Front, both outlawed in Russia.


A US-Russia-brokered ceasefire came into force across Syria on February 27. It was supported by Damascus, as well as by dozens of opposition groups on the ground.




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