Russia's task in Syria is to liberate it from terrorists: Kremlin

Smoke rises from reported opposition fire from buildings in an eastern government-held neighbourhood of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Oct 20, 2016.
Smoke rises from reported opposition fire from buildings in an eastern government-held neighbourhood of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Oct 20, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Russia's task in Syria is to liberate its territory from terrorist organisations and help prevent the country's breakup, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday (Oct 22).

"A temporary base is not a goal, it's a means to achieve the goal that was declared by the president - to help legitimate Syrian authorities in their fight with ISIS and other terrorist organisations. The Syrian territory must be liberated," Peskov said in an interview for the TV news programme "Vesti on Saturday".

"We need to liberate and do everything possible to prevent the division of the country," he said, adding that he did not see an end to the Syria conflict in the foreseeable future.

"Unfortunately, the information that we receive, it does not give us the opportunity to be careless optimists. It is clear that the world community still has very long and hard work ahead," Peskov said.