Putin: ISIS took several US & European citizens hostage in US-controlled part of Syria
Islamic State terrorists “have delivered ultimatums and made certain demands, threatening … to shoot ten people every day,” the Russian leader said, adding that the hostage-takers already started carrying out their threats and executed ten hostages two days ago.
“This is just horrible, it is a catastrophe,” Putin said, adding that the US forces that claim to control the area around the east bank of the Euphrates River, relying on the Kurdish armed forces on the ground, stay conspicuously silent on this crisis.
“Some US and European citizens are among the hostages,” the president warned, adding that “everyone is silent … as if nothing has happened.”
“They [the US] have clearly fallen short of their target,” Putin said, adding that Washington and its allies apparently failed to combat terrorists in the part of Syria they occupy. Islamic State terrorists continue to expand their presence in the area, he said.
Russian forces dealt a “heavy blow” to terrorists in Syria, eliminating many of them and forcing others to lay down their arms, Putin said. “Over these years, we liberated almost 95 percent of the Syrian Republic’s territory,” the president added.
“We maintained its sovereignty and did not let [the Syrian] state fall apart,” he continued, arguing that Russia’s actions helped “stabilize the situation in the region.”
He also praised Turkey for its efforts in driving terrorists out of northern Syria. “They work and we see it,” he said, adding that the Turkish side “does its best to fulfill its obligations” as he hailed the “effectiveness” of Ankara’s actions.
Putin has called on the world’s nations to “unite their efforts” to combat terrorism effectively. This cooperation has been reduced to some “separate instances of cooperation, which are not enough,” he added.
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