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Russia Says Syria Air Strikes Will Not Stop Until 'Terrorists' Defeated

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow will not stop conducting air strikes in Syria until all "terrorist" groups are defeated.

"Russian strikes will not cease until we really defeat terrorist organizations like the [Al-Nusra Front]," said Lavrov, referring to Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria.

“I don't see why these air strikes should be stopped," he said at a news conference in Oman's capital, Muscat.

On February 2, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Russia should stop bombing opposition forces in Syria now that UN-led peace talks aimed at ending the war have started.

Some Syrian opposition groups taking part in the informal talks in Geneva have demanded a halt to Russian air strikes as a precondition for negotiations.

Lavrov said it was "shortsighted" of the Syrian opposition to expect that "preconditions, which are set in the forms of ultimatums, can resolve problems."

Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax