French President François Holland met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to discuss cooperation against Daesh. The meeting was scheduled before a Russian Su-24 was shot down by two Turkish F-16s near the Turkish-Syrian border.
— President of Russia (@KremlinRussia_E) November 26, 2015
Putin said that Moscow is ready to cooperate with the U.S.-led coalition and will share intelligence with France on Daesh targets. Other terrorist organizations will also be targeted in the intelligence sharing cooperation between the two countries.
“What we agreed, and this is important, is to strike only terrorists and Daesh (Islamic State) and to not strike forces that are fighting terrorism. We will exchange information about whom to hit and whom not to hit,” Hollande told a joint news conference with Putin.
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By coordinating intelligence and airstrikes, Moscow and Paris can work together to deliver a stronger blow against Daesh while keeping the confrontation to a minimum. French and Russian aircraft positions will most likely be known by both countries, enabling them to keep incident to a very low probability.
Putin also stated that Moscow will unite with Paris against a “mutual enemy” but stands firm on the fact that the Syrian population will choose the fate of Bashar al-Assad.
“I believe that the fate of the president of Syria must stay in the hands of the Syrian people,” Putin said, in stark contrast to Hollande, who insisted Assad could play no future political role in the country.
Putin also put emphasis on the fact that Assad’s troops and its government are actively fighting terrorists and have been instrumental in stopping Daesh’s advance.
“And there’s no other force to conduct ground operations against IS … except the government army of Syria. In this regard, I think that the army of President Assad and he himself are our natural allies in the fight against terrorism,” the Russian leader explained.
Adding to the airstrikes on Daesh positions, both countries also agreed on targeting vehicles transporting oil across Daesh-controlled territory. The illegal oil is once of the key source of income for the terrorist organization with alleged customer such as Turkey and Syria.
Putin is ready to cooperate with the U.S.-led coalition over Syria but repeated that incident such as the Turkey shoot down of one of its bomber will results in a serious cooperation jeopardy.
“We are ready to cooperate with the coalition which is led by the United States. But of course incidents like the destruction of our aircraft and the deaths of our servicemen… are absolutely unacceptable,” Putin said.
Relations between Russia and NATO has sharply decrease over the Turkish downing of a Russian Su-24, and Moscow warned of serious economic consequences if another incident happens over Syria.
You can view the full press conference between Putin and Hollande.