The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the recent victories have enabled the Syrian army to push towards Raqqa, the ISIS capital in Syria. Zakharova welcomed comments by the Deputy Spokesperson for the US Department of State that the future of President Assad should be decided by a political process. She stressed that the fate of the Syrian president should rest in the hands of Syrians. Zakharova reiterated that Moscow insists on the participation of the Syrian Kurds in the upcoming round of Syrian negotiations. She also said that Moscow is concerned over the high level of violence in Kurdish-populated provinces in Turkey. Moscow has also called on Ankara to end its military solution to the Kurdish issue, calling it a dead-end method. "The level of violence that is not being reduced in the Kurdish-populated southeastern provinces of Turkey continues to be a concern. According to official data, since the beginning of the current Turkish government's so-called anti-terrorist operations in July 2015, 285 civilians have been killed, and this is only according to official figures," Zakharova said during her weekly briefing. "We again call on Ankara to give up betting on the dead-end method of force in solving the Kurdish problem," she added. "We again call on Ankara to give up betting on the dead-end method of force in solving the Kurdish problem," she added. Maria Zakharova also noted that over 1,500 explosives have been neutralized in the Syrian city of Palmyra with the assistance of Russian experts. With regards to ultranationalist Alparslan Celik, who was arrested and questioned by Turkish authorities, Maria Zakharova said that Russian authorities are working on criminal proceedings against him for the killing a Russian Su-24 pilot. "The fact that this extremist has previously publicly admitted his involvement in the murder of the Russian pilot has not been commented on by Turkish authorities… At present, Russian competent authorities are looking into the possibility of making Celik criminally liable for participating in the murder of the Russian pilot," Zakharova told a briefing.