DISPATCHES FROM STEPHEN LENDMAN
Putin Promises Continued Support for SyriaRussia is still involved militarily in Syria, despite in process of withdrawing much of its aerial and supportive ground personnel. It continues targeting terrorist groups as conditions warrant. It wants Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity preserved.
On Thursday, Putin thanked Russian servicemen involved in Syrian anti-terrorism operations, presenting awards for distinguished service in the Kremlin’s Georgievsky Hall. He called anti-terrorism intervention “fully justified and necessary.” It was more effective training than military drills, saying “no one has yet invented a more effective way of training and honing skills than actual combat operations.”
“(O)nly in the battlefield could (much) of what was used (be) genuinely test(ed) (to) identify existing problems and fix them.”
He believes Russia’s involvement gives peace a chance, while knowing Washington and its rogue allies remain adversarial, likely undermining conflict resolution talks like earlier.
Syria is a valued Russian ally. It continues supplying Assad with military, intelligence and logistical support, the battle against terrorism far from over.
“Of course, we will continue to support the Syrian legitimate government,” Putin explained. “It will be financial aid, arms supplies, military training…It will be intelligence support, aid in the planning of operations, as well as direct support – the use of the Russian Aerospace Forces.”
“If needed, Russia can boost its air group in the region in literally a few hours to a size corresponding with the situation and use the whole arsenal of our opportunities.”
“We would not like to do that as military escalation is not our choice. That’s why we rely on the common sense of all parties, on the commitment of the (Damascus) authorities and the opposition to the peace process.”
Russia’s formidable S-400 aerial defense system remains in place, controlling virtually all Syrian airspace, able to target and destroy any threat, including enemy warplanes, cruise and ballistic missiles.
“We are acting according to fundamental international norms,” Putin explained. “No one has the right to violate Syria’s sovereign airspace.”
“An effective mechanism for preventing air incidents has been established with the American side, but all partners have been notified and are aware that our air defense systems will be deployed against any targets that we will consider to be a threat for Russian service personnel. I stress that these will be any targets.”
“We have strengthened (Syria’s) armed forces. Today, they are able not only to deter terrorists, but to conduct a successful offensive against them.”
Russia remains committed to help as needed. It doesn’t want important gains lost. It wants peace and stability restored to a war-torn part of the world.
Its military performed admirably, achieving its strategic objectives, showing its a formidable force against any adversary, giving US war-makers pause about a future confrontation.
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