The Levant News — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday stressed that his country will not take part in any military operations in Syria, but it is considering intensifying work with President Bashar al-Assad and other partners in combating terrorism.
President Putin, interviewed by American CBS TV, said “Russia will not participate in any troop operations in Syria or in any other states.. Well, at least we don’t plan on it right now .. But we are considering intensifying our work with both President al-Assad and with our partners in other countries.”
“The West has repeatedly said that the Syrian Arab Army is fighting against its people, but look at those who are in control of 60 percent of the territory in Syria.. It’s controlled by either ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra or by other terrorist organizations,” Putin said.
”The question is do you think that those who support the armed opposition, and mainly the terrorist organizations, are doing that just to topple President al-Assad without thinking about what will happen to the country after all the government institutions have been demolished?” he wondered.
Answering a question on whether Russia is exerting new efforts to take a leading role in the Middle East, President Putin said ”No. More than 2,000 fighters from Russia and Ex-Soviet Republics are in the territory of Syria.. There is a threat of their return to us.. So instead of waiting for their return, we are better off helping President al-Assad fight them.. this is the most important thing which encourages and pushes us to provide assistance to President al-Assad.. And, in general, we want the situation in the region to stabilize.”