Russia ‘puzzled’ by West calling Syrian Islamists ‘moderate’

Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday issued a statement saying that it was surprised by some of Russia’s foreign partners presenting radical Islamists in Syria as the “moderate” opposition. “The international public has recently been shocked by reports coming from the Syrian city of Raqqa, which has been under total jihadists’ rule for nearly one year. There, the so-called ‘fighters for the bright future of Syria’ from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have imposed a head tax – jizya – on all the remaining Christians. According to the information posted on the website of this gang, all ‘unbelievers’ who refuse to convert to Islam will be forced to pay tax in gold,” the ministry’s statement said. “Within the given context, Moscow is puzzled by attempts of some of our foreign partners, who like to reason on respecting human rights in all the corners of the world, to flirt with Islamist gangs in Syria, presenting some them as ‘moderate’ powers fighting the ‘regime’ of [Syrian President] Bashar Assad,” the statement said.