One week after an attack by a Russian Sukhoi Su-34 bomber on positions of the Al Nusra Front terrorist group in Syria, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called on the international community to unite and work together against the threats posed by Islamic State (IS), during his two-day visit to Algeria on Monday.
“It is time for all nations to set aside their ambitions and conflicts, and unite for the sake of the final defeat of IS and other extremist groups which, without any exaggeration, have challenged human civilization,” Medvedev said in an interview with Algeria’s APS news agency.
Medvedev was in Algeria to help strengthen its bilateral strategic dialogue, based on the Declaration of Strategic Partnership that was signed in Moscow in April 2001. In Algiers, he met with his counterpart Abdelmalek Sellal, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and held talks with parliamentarians.
"We agree that the proliferation of terrorism is a global challenge,” Medvedev said in his media interview. “It is only by joining forces that we can stand up to it. We must do this in a coordinated manner by joining all available forces and definitely relying on international law.”
Medvedev seemed to be echoing remarks made earlier by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, during a recent meeting of leaders from BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) on the sidelines of the G20 summit held in Hamburg from July 7-8. There, Putin spoke about the need to create a “united anti-terrorist front” within the framework of the UN.
Russia has taken a range of measures to help quell terrorism in the Middle East in particular, including helping secure a ceasefire agreement between rebel forces fighting against the government of Syria’s embattled President Bashar Al Assad.
Since 2015, Russia has been active on the ground in Syria, which has been roiled in a six-and-a-half year civil war. It launched counterterrorism operations against IS, helping clear the city of Aleppo, and help Assad’s forces retake Palmyra.
On October 3, the Russian Air Force struck Al Nusra, killing what it claimed were 49 militants, including seven field commanders, in northwestern Idlib province.