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Syrian government army may join anti-IS fight on ground — French foreign minister

Syria's ground forces loyal to the government of President Bashar al-Assad may join the common efforts on the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia), France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told RTL radio station on Friday.

He noted though that the French army's involvement in the ground operation on Syrian soil was not discussed. "Troops on the ground are necessary, but in Syria these cannot be our troops, since that would be counter-productive," the French minister said.

According to Fabius, to accomplish this mission local armed groups at times fighting on the opposite sides should be involved in the operation. "These should be the forces of the Free Syrian Army, Sunni Arab forces and the forces of the regime (of Bashar al-Assad) — why not?" he said adding yet again that, from the standpoint of Paris, the current Syrian president "cannot be part of this country's future."

The ultimate goal of these actions, in addition to the strikes carried out by aircraft of Western powers and Russia, should be the total destruction of the IS terrorist group, the French top diplomat said. "France's determination is absolute. If we ensure that the majority of countries, whatever legal form, focusses on the task of destroying these murderers, we will succeed. This is a matter of determination and will," Fabius said.

[Source: Itar Tass, Paris, 27Nov15]

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