The Syrian fighters named conditions under which they would be ready to return bodies of the Russian Mi-8 helicopter crew, that had been downed in the province of Idlib. They demand to release prisoners, who are kept in jails under Damascus' control, and those detained by Hezbollah in Lebanon as well as end siege of the regions, which are blocked by the Syrian army and its allies. How should Russia act?
Azhdar Kurtov, chief editor of the RISS journal "National Strategy Issues":
'Unfortunately, terror groups which oppose the government do not keep to international humanitarian law, as well as when it comes to hostages and bodies of the dead. I believe there's no sense to go the length of holding talks with them, as they will be only increasing stakes. While the bodies will not be returned. What about possible special operation, it's quite hard to implement it, as it is hard even to discover where alive hostages are kept. Bodies may be moved from one place to another. The desired result on return of the bodies may not be reached, while losses will be too big. This practice can be evidenced very often in such combat acts'.
The Biden administration has reproduced the sanctions that the Trump administration imposed on Russia for the alleged poisoning of the Skripals