"Russia not planning field operations in Syria"
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country does not plan to send ground troops to Syria, and will continue to support the Syrian government.Source: Tanjug
In an interview for U.S. broadcasters CBS and PBS, he "strongly criticized America's military support given to Syrian rebels as illegal and counter-productive," U.S. media are reporting.
"Russia will not take part in any field operations on the territory of Syria or in other states; at least, we do not plan it for now. But we are thinking of how to intensify our work both with President al-Assad and our partners in other countries," Putin said.
"There is only one regular army there. That is the army of Syrian President al-Assad. And he is confronted with what some of our international partners interpret as an opposition. In reality, al-Assad's army is fighting against terrorist organizations. You should know better than me about the hearings that have just taken place in the United States Senate, where the military and Pentagon representatives, if I am not mistaken, reported to the senators about what the United States had done to train the combat part of the opposition forces," the Russian president said, and added:
"The initial aim was to train between 5,000 and 6,000 fighters, and then 12,000 more. It turns out that only 60 of these fighters have been properly trained, and as few as 4 or 5 people actually carry weapons, while the rest of them have deserted with the American weapons to join ISIS."
According to Putin, "provision of military support to illegal structures runs counter to the principles of modern international law and the United Nations Charter."