Speaking at an international forum last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Israel’s anti-terror efforts, suggesting the United States could learn much from the Jewish state.
In an address to the Valdai International Discussion Club, the Russian leader offered a critique of American foreign policy, particularly with regards to the Middle East and the spread of global terror groups like ISIS.
“We keep hearing Aleppo, Aleppo, Aleppo,” referring to concerns in the US over civilian casualties in the northern Syrian city. “But what is the issue here? Do we leave the nest of terrorists in place there, or do we squeeze them out, doing our best to minimize and avoid civilian casualties?”
“If it is better to not go in at all, then the offensive against Mosul shouldn’t go ahead at all either. Let’s just leave everything as it is. Let’s leave Raqqa alone too. Our partners keep saying, “We need to take back Raqqa and eliminate the nest of terrorists there”. But there are civilians in Raqqa too. So, should we not fight the terrorists at all? And when they take hostages in towns, should we just leave them be?”
Instead, Putin mused, the US should take note of Israel’s approach towards terrorism.
“Look at Israel’s example. Israel never steps back but always fights to the end, and this is how it survives. There is no alternative. We need to fight. If we keep retreating, we will always lose.”