The Russian Foreign Ministry said the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups in Syria are massacring civilians, organizing mass public executions, torturing hostages and destroying economic potential which has taken decades to create.
Russia slammed in a statement issued Saturday Western attempts to "flirt" with extremists in Syria. "There is bewilderment in Moscow about attempts by some of our foreign partners who are fond of insisting on the observance of human rights in all corners of the world to flirt with Islamist groups in Syria, trying to represent some of them as \'moderate\' forces opposing the Syrian leadership," Russia\'s Foreign Ministry said.
"All Islamic radicals in Syria have the same objective, an objective for whose attainment they are prepared to brutally kill anyone, including women and children, - building a Caliphate, where the entire life is governed by the Shariah in its medieval interpretations," the statement said.
The statement pointed to reports that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) imposed a per capita tax - jizya - on all Christians who remained in the city after persecutions who refused to convert to Islam.
"The other day, the international community was shocked by reports from the Syrian city of al-Raqqah, which has been under the full control of jihadists for about a year."
"Moreover, Christians are prohibited from building new and repairing old churches and monasteries. They cannot put crosses on their churches, conduct services outside their places of worship, ring bells, or hold cross processions,\'\' the statement added.
Hailing the Syrian army\'s operations against terrorists, the statement added ""Syrian government troops are waging an uncompromising fight against extremists and terrorists throughout the country."
"The other day, militants from Jabhat al-Nusra and the Liwa al-Islam group, which is part of the Islamic Front, who had been surrounded in Eastern Ghouta and tried to break through the siege were ambushed and lost 175 men as dead. It is one of the Syrian military\'s most successful recent operation and a powerful blow to the armed opposition on the outskirts of the capital," the ministry said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry reiterated that "the Syrian conflict can have no military solution and must be settled by political and diplomatic means via inter-Syrian negotiations that have been launched in Geneva and aim to enable the Syrians themselves to choose the future for their country, a future where all the ethnic and religious groups would feel secure and enjoy equal rights."