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Putin: Russian forces contributed to restoring peaceful life in Syria

A photo from the celebrations of the Russian forces in Aleppo (ANNA)

A photo from the celebrations of the Russian forces in Aleppo (ANNA)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that his country’s forces contributed to the restoration of peaceful life in Syria “significantly,” stressing the role of Russia in combating “international terrorism.”

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, in a conference call with military leaders, held on Friday, 10 January, reported a statement by Putin during his meeting with the President of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad, in Syria a few days ago in which Putin thanked the Russian forces for their role in fighting against “international terrorism,” and their contribution to the restoration of peaceful life in Syria gradually.

On Tuesday, 7 January, Putin arrived in Damascus on a surprise visit to meet his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad at the headquarters of the Russian Forces in the presence of Russian officers and officials, and in the presence of one Syrian official, the Minister of Defense, Ali Abdullah Ayoub.

It is the first time that Putin visited Damascus, after he visited in late 2017 Russia’s Hmeimim military base on the Syrian coast where al-Assad was summoned to meet him there. 

Massacres and displacement

Russian military operations in Syria began at the end of September 2015, accompanied by warplanes and military experts on the ground, to support Assad’s forces and stop the expansion of opposition factions in large areas of Syria.

Putin expected at that time that the military intervention in Syria would be temporary for three or four months, and only through the air force, to support the ground forces embodied by the Syrian regime forces, in addition to the Iranian militias and the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group.

Putin also maintained that the intervention was only “preventive” against the arrival of what he called “terrorism” to Russia. However, the military situation on the ground changed Russia’s objectives, and deepened the country’s intervention in Syria after four years, making it politically and militarily responsible for the conflict before the international community.

During Russia’s intervention, the Russian forces killed and displaced tens of thousands of civilians in Syria. 

Russia along with the Syrian regime forces continues carrying out intensified military operations in the province of Idlib, which resulted in the death of 287 people, including 90 children, since 1 November 2019, in addition to the displacement of 63, 000 persons and 65 families (359,000 persons) under the pretext of fighting “terrorism”, according to the Syrian Response Coordinators Group (SRCG).

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