Damascus has full confidence in Russia, Syrian FM says

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Thursday, 01 October 2015

The Syrian foreign minister has expressed his country’s confidence in Russia’s anti-terror position as Russian President Vladimir Putin describes preemptive airstrikes as the best way to fight international terrorism.

Walid al-Muallem made the comments in an interview with Russia’s RT TV channel on Wednesday, adding that Damascus has full confidence in the Russian stance and in that of President Putin, who made Moscow’s position about counter-terrorism clear earlier in the day, Syrian official SANA news agency reported.

Voicing distrust in the objectives that the United States and the US-led coalition pursue, the top Syrian diplomat said, “They carried out over 9,000 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria and we haven’t seen any results, so we support what President Putin does in this regard.”

The remarks came as Russian fighter jets conducted their first airstrikes against the Takfiri Daesh militants in Syria on Wednesday.

Regarding the airstrikes, the Russian president said they have been carried out with the knowledge of Moscow’s foreign partners.

“We have always supported and support the struggle against international terrorism, at the same time we are convinced that it should be waged exclusively in strict compliance with international law, so, within the framework of the UN Security Council resolutions adopted in such cases or at the request of a party which needs military assistance,” Putin said.

Referring to the fact that the US-led coalition’s airstrikes in Syria are conducted without the authorization of the UN and the Syrian government, the Russian president said Washington’s initiative lacks the criteria Moscow has considered in its strikes.

Russia launched its first airstrikes against Takfiri militants in Syria after the upper house of the Russian parliament gave President Putin the mandate to use the air force in the Arab country.

In televised remarks after the vote, Sergei Ivanov, the head of Kremlin administration, said his country’s military presence in Syria comes upon a request by President Bashar al-Assad, who “has appealed to the leadership of our country with a request for military aid.”

Assad’s office said in a statement on Wednesday that the Syrian president had sent a letter to Putin, asking for military support.

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