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Tackling ISIS must be left to Muslims, says Nato chief, as he rules out Syria ground force

MUSLIMS must take the lead in fighting against Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Syria, Nato has said, as the military alliance ruled out sending in ground troops to defeat the terror group.

General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said majority-Christian nations in the West should not bear the burden of another war in the Middle East.

He told a Swiss newspaper: “Muslims are on the front line in this war.

“Most victims are Muslims, and most of those who fight against the IS are Muslims.

“We cannot carry on this struggle for them.”

But he added: “This is not a war between the West and the Islamic world, but against extremism and terrorism.”

Mr Stoltenberg continued that a troop deployment to tackle the barbaric militia group – also known as IS or Daesh – was “not on the agenda”.

Syria, he said, needed “local fighters” rather than Nato soldiers.

The alliance is now planning to help Turkey to help improve its air defences after it shot down a Russian military jet last month.

Mr Stoltenberg called on Russia to “play a more


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