In the first public statement confirming his country’s military involvement in Syria’s civil war against the Islamic state, Russian President Vladmir Putin has said his country is providing significant logistical support and training to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. He has denied reports that Russia has deployed combat troops to fight alongside the Syrians, but hinted that this might be an option in the future.
Putin said to the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency at an economic forum in Vladivostok, “To say we’re ready to do this today – so far it’s premature to talk about this. But we are already giving Syria quite serious help with equipment and training soldiers, with our weapons.”
Russia is known as one of the largest military suppliers to the Syrian government and has supported Assad in the Global arena, using its UN Security Council veto to support him during a war that has claimed over 250,000 lives, creating a wave of refugees fleeing the country. Russia has also delayed an international investigation into claims that Assad has used chemical weapons.
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