Isis has designs on the holy cities of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem and poses a danger to Europe, Vladimir Putin has reportedly said.
The Russian President said the situation is “very serious” and that Moscow is worried trained jihadists from the group – which refers to itself as the Islamic State – plan to return to EU countries and Russia, according to Russia Today.
“Extremists from many countries of the world, including, unfortunately, European counties, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States undertake ideological and military training in the ranks of Islamic State,” Mr Putin reportedly said.
“Certainly we are worried that they could possibly return.”
RT said the Kremlin also expressed fears that Isis members are publicly announcing designs on the three major holy cities of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem.
Russia has reportedly called for a “wide coalition” to fight extremists “without delay”.
The coalition, Mr Putin said, should “set aside geopolitical ambitions” and “unite everyone who is ready and is already contributing to tackling terrorism”.
He said: “Simple common sense, responsibility for global and regional safety require uniting efforts of the international community [to fight] such a threat.”
“It is necessary to set aside geopolitical ambitions, drop so-called double standards, the policy of direct or indirect use of separate terrorist groups for achieving own goals, including removing the governments and regimes.”
Mr Putin’s comments follow a recent heightening of international pressure on Moscow over what Washington and Gulf states say is a Russian military build-up in Syria, where the Kremlin has been supporting President Bashar al-Assad in the four-and-a-half-year civil war.
Russia has said it is supporting the Syrian government in its fight against terrorism and Mr Putin confirmed the country “will continue its support”.
The President’s comments echo Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s remarks this week that Russia will continue sending military supplies to Syria.
“There were military supplies, they are ongoing and they will continue,” Lavrov said.
Moscow insists its military assistance to the Syrian army is in line with international law.