Moscow – Russia’s powerful Orthodox Church on Wednesday voiced support for Moscow’s decision to carry out air strikes in Syria against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, calling it a “holy battle.”
“The fight with terrorism is a holy battle and today our country is perhaps the most active force in the world fighting it,” said the head of the Church’s public affairs department, Vsevolod Chaplin, quoted by Interfax news agency.
Russia on Wednesday launched its first air strikes in Syria after President Vladimir Putin won parliamentary approval to use force abroad.
“The only correct way to fight international terrorism…. is to act preemptively, to battle and destroy fighters and terrorists on the territories they have already seized, not to wait for them to come to us,” Putin said in televised comments.
In an official statement, the Church’s Patriarch Kirill said “Russia took a responsible decision to use military forces to protect the Syrian people from the woes brought on by the tyranny of terrorists.”
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