Russia to continue military aid to Syria: President Putin
Iran Press TV
Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:36AM
Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country will continue to supply the Syrian government with military assistance.
Putin made the remarks at a Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) summit in the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, on Tuesday.
He dismissed allegations that Russia's support for Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has resulted in a flow of refugees, saying that without Moscow's support for the Syrian government the number of Syrian refugees heading to Europe would have even become bigger.
"People are fleeing from Syria primarily because of the hostilities which are largely triggered from abroad, through the delivery of armaments and special purpose hardware; people are fleeing from atrocities of the terrorists, we are aware of the atrocities they are committing and ruining cultural monuments," he said.
"If Russia had not been supporting Syria, the situation in that country would have been even worse than in Libya and the refugee flow would have been much larger," said Putin.
The Russian president further expressed concern about the return of Takfiri Daesh militants to their home country.
"Fighters from many countries of the world, unfortunately, European countries, the Russian Federation and many former republics of the Soviet Union are undergoing ideological indoctrination and receiving military training in ISIL," he said, referring to Daesh.
"Naturally, we are concerned about their possible return to our territories," he added.
Syria's Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad on Monday shrugged off as a "lie" allegations from Western countries that Russian soldiers are present in Syria.
The Russian ITAR-TASS news agency quoted the Syrian envoy as saying that his country has been "cooperating with Russia for 30-40 years, including [in] the military sphere."
The remarks came after Washington accused Moscow of boosting its military presence in the Arab country.
"Yes, we receive arms, military equipment, all this is done in line with agreements sealed between our countries," Haddad said.
Moscow has been one of the main supporters of Syria since the foreign-backed militancy erupted in the Arab country in March 2011.
The conflict in Syria, which has claimed the lives of about 250,000 people, has caused nearly half of Syria's prewar population of 23 million to flee, with many thousands attempting to reach Europe.
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