Putin warns jailed Daesh militants may escape amid Turkey’s Syria operation

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he was unsure if Turkey could keep the Syria situation under control. (Reuters)
Updated 12 October 2019

Putin warns jailed Daesh militants may escape amid Turkey’s Syria operation

  • Vladimir Putin unsure if Turkey could keep the Syria situation under control

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Friday that Daesh militants held in northeast Syria could escape as a result of a Turkish military operation there, the Interfax news agency reported.

The Turkish offensive against US-allied Kurdish forces in the northeast of Syria opens one of the biggest new fronts in years in an eight-year-old civil war that has drawn in global powers.

Russia emerged a leading power broker in Syria after it launched a military intervention there in 2015, turning the tide of the war in favor of its ally in Damascus, President Bashar Assad.

“There are zones located in the north of Syria where Daesh militants are concentrated. They were guarded until now by Kurdish armed forces. Now the Turkish army is going in, the Kurds are abandoning these camps. They could just escape,” Putin was quoted as saying.

“I’m not sure if the Turkish army can rapidly get this under control,” Putin said, speaking during a visit to Turkmenistan.


Palestinian leaders ‘open to talks with Israel via Moscow’

Updated 03 June 2020

Palestinian leaders ‘open to talks with Israel via Moscow’

  • We trust President Putin to help stop annexation of parts of occupied West Bank, foreign minister says

AMMAN: Palestinian leaders would be open to a resumption of talks with Israel if they were brokered by Russia, Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said on Tuesday.

“We trust President Vladimir Putin and are sure that such a meeting would bear fruit, and succeed in getting us back to the talks, as well as stopping the Israeli plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank,” he said.

Al-Maliki said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had twice derailed Russian plans to hold discussions in Moscow. “Palestine is willing to have talks with Israel via video conferencing and under Russian auspices,” he said. “The Palestinian side will look into the idea if Russia felt it was feasible,” he said.

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Ofer Zalzberg, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group, told Arab News that Moscow had been engaging separately with both the White House and Ramallah about stopping or postponing Israel’s controversial annexation plans, which Netanyahu has threatened to implement on July 1.

“The sticking point appears to be around whether Trump’s plan … has to be at the center of the discussions. It is not enough to agree on the channel of the talks, be it Russia or another one. The substance of the talks is important.”

Zalzberg said opponents of annexation were waiting for Palestinian leaders to propose their own peace plan and agenda for talks, and were frustrated that neither was forthcoming.

Efforts are also underway for Israel’s new defense and foreign ministers to meet key Arab leaders including King Abdullah of Jordan, to persuade them that annexation would damage the chances of peace.