President Vladimir Putin assessed Russian engagement in Syria as a “unique experience” for military, and an “important mission” aimed at protection of interests of Russian citizens, he underlined that those who sacrificed their lives defeating terrorism will be “never forgotten“. The President said that Russian military presence in Syria is fulfilled within the framework of international law, and the assistance in big-scale combat operation of the Syrian army in not needed any more, while the major focus has shifted towards political resolution of the conflict. The comments were made during ‘direct line’ emission.
Thousands of insurgents accumulated in Syria, and it was better to neutralize them there, than let them enter Russian Federation through Central Asian open borders, Putin continued. At present there is no more need in large-scale combat operations, the President ensured, while the political resolution of the conflict is on the agenda.
However two Russian military locations – Tartus and Khmeimim Air Base in Syria will stay as long as “beneficial and needed” to defend Russian interests in this “close to Russia region“.
The President explained that there are no permanent constructions on the territory of both Russian basis in Syria , and in case of necessity, the military can be moved out swiftly.
“The experience in Syria is a precious for our troops, but Syria is not a test site for Russian weapons“, Putin continued, “Russian specialists adjusted already functioning systems to in the field, in the combat situations”.
A significant number of Russian officers and generals had an opportunity to participate in missions in Syria, accumulating experience of combat operations, allowing to make one more step to “perfect our military“.