Vladimir Putin: Syria has only one lawful army, President al-Assad's army

Vladimir Putin. Source: Kremlin.ru

President Vladimir Putin has said that in Syria Russia recognizes only the lawfulness of the army subordinate to President Bashar al-Assad and drawn attention to the lamentable results of the combat training of the Syrian opposition by the U.S. military.

"There is only one regular legitimate army there. It is the army of Syrian President Al-Assad. And it is confronted by what some of our international partners interpret as the opposition. In fact, in real life al-Assad's army is fighting against terrorist organizations," Putin said in an interview to U.S. journalist Charlie Rose for CBS and PBS TV channels ahead of his participation in the UN General Assembly.

He said to the U.S. journalist: "You know better than me about the hearings that have just taken place in the U.S. Senate, if I am not mistaken, where the military, representatives of the Pentagon reported to Senators on what was done by the United States to train the fighting part of opposition forces."

"The objective was to train 5,000-6,000 fighters first and then 12,000. As a result it turned out that only 60 were trained and only four or five people are waging an armed struggle while all the rest simply defected to ISIS with American armaments," Putin said.

President Vladimir Putin has said that Russian presence in Syria is based on fundamental principles of present-day international law and is exercised at the request of the Syrian government.

"We proceed from the UN Charter, i.e. fundamental principles of present-day international law according to which some one or other type of assistance, including military assistance, can and should be rendered solely to the lawful governments of countries with their consent or at their request or under a resolution of the UN Security Council," Putin said in an interview to U.S. journalist Charlie Rose for CBS and PBS TV channels ahead of his participation in the UN General Assembly. 

"In this case we have a request of the Syrian government for rendering them military-technical assistance which we are doing in the framework of absolutely legal international contracts," the Russian president added. Asked about the purpose of Russian presence in Syria Putin said: "Today it amounts to arms deliveries to the Syrian government, personnel training and rendering humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people."

 

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