Friday, November 13, 2015

Putin: Free Syrian Army shares intel on ISIS targets, US reluctant to cooperate

President Vladimir Putin said on Friday the Russian air force had already struck some targets in Syria identified by the Free Syrian Army (FSA), a fact he said disproved allegations Moscow was bombing the moderate opposition.

The United States and the FSA itself have both accused the Kremlin of bombing FSA targets, while largely sparing Islamic State militants. Russia says it is careful to only target what it deems to be bona fide terrorist groups in Syria.

"We are ready to take into account any reliable information on the location of terrorist groups. We have even worked together with the Free Syrian Army," Putin told Interfax and the Turkish Anadolu news agencies in an interview, the text of which was passed to Reuters by the Kremlin.

"The Russian air force has conducted several strikes on targets identified by the FSA. We excluded areas, which had been indicated by FSA commanders as being under their control. This fact proves once again that we are not bombing the so-called moderate opposition or the civilian population."

Putin said all “potential risks and consequences” of  Russia’s airstrikes in Syria have been “carefully calculated many times” and “all the resources needed for the operation, both financial and technological, have been allocated in advance.”

The Russian president also said the duration of Russia’s airstrikes in the Arab republic will depend on the Syrian Army’s offensive against terrorists. - RT

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