Putin: Russia has sent weapons to Syrian opposition group
Vladimir Isachenkov (Associated Press) - December 11, 2015 - 10:00am

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russia has provided air cover, weapons and supplies to a leading Western-backed opposition group in Syria and called for closer coordination with the U.S.-allied coalition, a statement that may reflect Moscow's desire to narrow differences with the West over the Syrian crisis.

At the same time, Putin vowed to further modernize Russia's military and said that its forces in Syria will "immediately destroy" any target threatening them, a strong warning to Turkey following its shoot-down of a Russian warplane at the Syrian border.

Putin, speaking at a meeting with top Defense Ministry officials, said that while supporting the Syrian government forces, Russia also has provided air cover, weapons and supplies to some units of the Free Syrian Army, a Western-backed opposition group fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad's army. If confirmed, it will represent a major policy shift for Moscow, which has been accused by the West of striking moderate rebels to back up Assad instead of its declared goal, the Islamic State group.

Putin and his officials said before that Russia had cooperated with the Free Syrian Army, but the group's representatives have denied that. It was the first time, however, that Putin said that Russia provided weapons and supplies for the group.

ARMY ASSAD DEFENSE MINISTRY FREE SYRIAN ARMY GROUP ISLAMIC STATE PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN PUTIN RUSSIA SYRIAN SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR ASSAD
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with