Putin: Russian military protecting interests of Syrian people

Russian aviation in Syria.

Russian aviation in Syria.

President said that he is proud of Russia's pilots taking part in the operation in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that he is proud of Russia's pilots taking part in the Russian Aerospace Force's operation targeting terrorist groups in Syria.

"There [in Syria] one needs to operate both an airplane and weapons because strikes are conducted mostly by eye. The overpressure due to a plane\'s abrupt ascent and abrupt descent is huge," Putin told a meeting of the 'Valdai' discussion club.

"This is top class, figuratively speaking. Beyond any doubt, our pilots deserve absolute respect. In the territory of Syria our military are certainly fighting against terrorism and, in this sense, are certainly protecting the interests of the Syrian people. But it is not only this. First and foremost, they are protecting the interests of Russia and the Russian people," he said, adding that the strikes target the terrorist groups that pose a threat to Russia.

"Certainly, they are risking their health and life. In this sense, they are all heroes. But they have chosen this profession voluntarily. It was their choice. I am proud of them," the Russian leader said.

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