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Russia, Syrian “patriotic” opposition agree on joint action against ISIS, Nusra front

In this Thursday, Oct. 33, 2013 photo, opposition fighters mount guard at the frontline on the outskirts of Kfar Lata, a ghost village at the top of a mountain subdued under heavy shelling and bombardments due the fighting between opposition fighters and government forces in the Idlib province countryside of Syria. The sprawling, three-generation family of Mohammed Kale refuses to leave their home; a boxy, multi-story concrete apartment that holds the entire family. The men want to stay back and fight. Their elder patriarch, 65-year-old Mohammed Kale, fears they will suffer in moving, penniless, from their home. (AP Photo)
Opposition fighters at the frontline on the outskirts of Kfar Lata, a ghost village in the Idlib province countryside of Syria, in October 2013. Photo AP.

Sputnik International reports:

[…] The Russian Defense Ministry has established contacts with leaders and field commanders of a number of patriotic Syrian opposition groups, which prioritize the country’s integrity despite being opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad, [Andrei Kartapolov, a senior Russian General Staff official] said, adding that Moscow hopes that this would help to resolve the Syrian conflict.

“In the framework of a broader international coalition on the fight against terrorism in the Middle East, we have established contacts with leaders and field commanders of several opposition units. These patriotic groups which, despite fighting government forces for four years, hold the idea of preserving Syria as a united sovereign state, free from ISIL and other terrorists of all sorts, higher than their political ambitions. We hope that this step will become a turning point in the resolution of the Syrian conflict.”

The Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian opposition have reached an agreement on joint action against terrorists, he said.

According to Kartapolov, the Russian air group deployed in Syria has already coordinated joint anti-terrorism efforts with the Syrian opposition by establishing reliable data exchange channels.

He emphasized that “this close cooperation allows us to unite efforts of the government troops and other patriotic forces in the Syrian Arab Republic, which had been in opposition earlier, to present a united front against a common enemy — international terrorism.”

He added that the Russian Aerospace Forces had hit 24 terrorist targets, the coordinates of which had been provided by the Syrian opposition.

“Today, the Russian Federation carried out 12 sorties against 24 terrorist targets using high explosive munition and high-precision KAB-500 bombs in the areas of Tadmur, Deir ez-Zor, Itria, and eastern Aleppo. The coordinates of all these objects were provided to us by representatives of the opposition.”

A terrorist command center, an ammunition depot, 10 strongholds and 12 artillery positions were destroyed as result of the Russian airstrikes on targets based on data shared by the Syrian opposition forces.

He noted that Russia has “repeatedly expressed readiness to cooperate with all Syrian patriotic forces fighting against ISIL and Nusra Front terrorists.” […]