The following is an op-ed written by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In recent months I have watched in stunned horror as a group armed with military weapons, trucks, and equipment has moved into and taken over a neighboring country. These disgusting savages who have effectively erased borders that have been in place for many years not only peril the sovereignty of nations, but also threaten to destabilize the entire region.
I am of course referring to the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS or ISIL).
It is just unbelievable to me that in this day and age, when we should be talking to each other diplomatically, we still have people who believe that force is the only option, and — make no mistake — they have used brutal tactics akin to Nazis to achieve their goals.
These terrorists have infiltrated countries, attacked places where civilians live, and utilized a massive campaign of propaganda — with friendly media outlets parroting their lies along with numerous supporters sharing the latest talking point on Twitter and Facebook.
The terrorists have attempted to break away from the real government in the region, establishing a so-called Islamic State, but this is a clear violation of international law and goes against the norms of the modern world. While local forces have tried to push them back, these terrorists have picked up sophisticated weapons systems that have made them much more powerful.
They threaten to further destabilize the entire region, unless the West stands up and recognizes the threat it faces, and acts to stop it.
I call on all western leaders to stand up and say enough is enough. We cannot stand idly by as brutal thugs take over neighboring countries and hoist new flags over an oppressed people. We can work together to ensure that weaker nations of the world can be protected from larger external threats.
To demonstrate my country’s commitment to challenging the stranglehold that ISIS has over Iraq and Syria, I am proud to announce that we will allow western aircraft and personnel — if leaders choose to fight the terrorists — to be based in Novorussia within the next few months.
I look forward to working together with the world to stand up to this imminent threat.
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