Russia fights terrorism in Syria upon official request by the legitimate Syrian authorities, Putin asserts

MOSCOW, SANA- Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted that “the decision that had been made on a military operation in Syria came on the basis of an official request by the legitimate Syrian authorities and the Russian military personnel in Syria are fighting for their country by destroying terrorists far away from Russia.”

“In Syria, our Armed Forces are first of all fighting for Russia, it is security of our people that they are defending,” Putin said in his annual State of the Nation addressing the Federal Assembly on Thursday, noting that the Russian army and fleet had convincingly demonstrated their military efficiency and growing capabilities.

Putin added that the biggest threat for Russia was coming from gunmen concentrated in Syria,: adding that ” many of them are getting money, weapons, gathering strength. If they get stronger, by winning there, they will inevitably come here to sow fear and hatred, to stage blasts, to kill and torture people.”

Putin expressed confidence that efforts of one country are not enough to defeat international terrorism, saying “It is impossible to defeat international terrorism through efforts of just one country, especially in conditions when the borders in the world are practically open, and the world is going through a new resettlement of peoples.”

Putin noted that “there is an urgent need for presenting a common international front in the struggle against terrorism under the auspices of the United Nations,” affirming that ”Russia cannot allow any criminal bloody business with terrorism.”

Putin stressed that “Every civilized state must contribute to destroying terrorists, reaffirm its solidarity, not with declarations but by concrete actions, which means that there should be no double standards, no contacts with any terrorist organizations, no attempts to use them for their own purposes, no criminal, bloody business with terrorists,” the president said.

Putin said it was well known “who wanted to oust unfavorable regimes by rudely imposing their own rules,” pointing out that “the destabilization of the situation in Middle Eastern countries resulted in opening the way for terrorists.”

“And what was the result? (They) started this turmoil, destroyed statehood, set people against one another, and then they just, how we say in Russia, washed their hands, opening a way for radicals, extremists and terrorists,” the president added.

The Russian President accused Ankara of supporting terrorists saying “We know who in Turkey makes money and allows terrorists to make profit.”

According to him, this money is used by gunmen for “recruiting mercenaries, purchasing weapons, organizing inhuman terrorist attacks directed against our citizens, citizens of France, Lebanon, Mali and other countries.”

“Meanwhile, the Turkish people are good, hard-working and gifted. We have a lot of old and reliable friends in Turkey. I will emphasize that we do not equate them and the part of the current ruling elite, which bears direct responsibility for the deaths of our service members in Syria,” Putin said.

The Russian president recalled that militants who operated in the North Caucasus in the 1990s and 2000s had taken refuge and received financial backing in Turkey. “And now they are still spotted there,” he said.

He held Turkey fully responsible for downing the Russian warplane over the Syrian territories, stressing that Russia will react on killing the two Russian military personnel in a responsible form.

Reem/ M. Nassr

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