Daily Management Review

Any Target Threatening Russia in Syria would be ‘Immediately Destroyed’: Putin


Any Target Threatening Russia in Syria would be ‘Immediately Destroyed’: Putin
Representing a strong warning to Turkey following its shooting down of a Russian warplane at the Syrian border, Russina President Vladimir Putin has vowed Russia’s military will “immediately destroy” any target threatening them in Syria.
Additional aircraft and air defense weapons have been sent to the Russian base near Latakia, Putin said the military should respond with full force to any “further provocations” while speaking at a meeting with senior commanders in Moscow.
“I order you to act in the toughest way. Any targets threatening the Russian groups of forces or our land infrastructure should be immediately destroyed,” the Russian president said.
While the UN said it was sending its senior relief official, Stephen O’Brien, to Damascus to examine the deteriorating humanitarian situation, Islamic State claimed responsibility for a triple suicide truck bombing that killed 50 to 60 Kurds in Tell Tamer in the Hasaka area of northern Syria.
The relations between Moscow and Ankara are badly strained after the downing of the Russian bomber by a Turkish fighter jet on 24 November, the first time a Nato member shot down a Russian plane in more than half a century.
The plane had violated its airspace for 17 seconds despite repeated warnings, Turkey claimed, after which it had downed the fighter jet. Putin denounced the Turkish action as a “treacherous stab in the back” as Russia had insisted the plane remained in Syrian airspace.
Stating that fending off the Isis threat is the main goal of the air campaign he launched on 30 September, Putin said Russian military action in Syria was essential to protect Russia from extremists based there. The campaign galvanised efforts to end the four-and-a-half-year war as it took advantage of western disarray.
Supporting the Syrian army by the Russian air strikes had helped change the situation on the ground, Putin said. Free Syrian Army, which were fighting “terrorists” in Syria were also being helped by Russia by providing air cover and supplying them with weapons, Putin said.
The Russian action has been criticized by Western countries who claim that the air attacks have in fact targeted rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad far more than Isis. The western powers claimed that Russia main goal is to bolster its long-standing ally in Damascus.
Meanwhile the agreement by Syrian opposition groups to hold talks with Assad in the new year has been welcomed by the US and Britain. In the face of strong resistance from Russia and Iran, the president’s closest allies, the Syrians are still insisting he stands down at once.
116 representatives of both political and armed factions backing negotiations came out with a statement after three days of talks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Thus in line with the UN-backed strategy laid down in Vienna last month, the statement would keep the diplomacy on track along with military operations against Isis.