Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted that Russia is fighting terrorism in Syria, and that its operations there comply with the UN Charter and international law, unlike the operations of the U.S.-led alliance that operates without Security Council authorization or permission from the Syrian authorities.
Speaking at an economic forum in Moscow on Tuesday, Putin said that the U.S. and its allies carried out over 500 airstrikes in Syria and spent USD 500 million to train what they called “moderate opposition” to fight ISIS, yet all that produced no results.
He also voiced concern that the weapons sent by the U.S. to the “free army” will fall into terrorists’ hands, which is something that happened before, noting that the Americans themselves acknowledged that their efforts have failed and now they are sending weapons and equipment without knowing who will get them.
The Russian President asserted that Syria can only be led by the Syrian people, and that Russia’s operations in Syria only seek to fight terrorism that poses a threat to the United States, Russia, Europe, and the rest of the world.
He revealed that Russia proposed to the U.S. holding a high-level political-military meeting in Moscow, and that Moscow is prepared to send a delegation to Washington to discuss issues related to settlement in Syria, but no answers have been given so far.
Putin also noted that Russia asked the U.S. to provide data on the targets it considers to be 100% terrorist targets, but the other showed didn’t agree to that, nor did the Americans respond when Russia asked them what targets shouldn’t be hit.
He stressed the need for Russia, the United States, and Europe to work towards bring all the sides they have influence on to the negotiations table in order to reach a political settlement, adding that so far, Russia hasn’t reached that point in its work with the States and Europe.