No Russian soldiers in Syria: Syrian envoy to Moscow

Syria’s Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad has dismissed as a “lie” accusations from Western countries that Russian soldiers are present in Syria.
Haddad made the remarks on Monday, shortly after Washington accused Moscow of boosting its military presence in the Arab country.
The Russian ITAR-TASS news agency quoted the Syrian envoy as saying that his country has been “cooperating with Russia for 30-40 years, including [in] the military sphere.”
“Yes, we receive arms, military equipment, all this is done in line with agreements sealed between our countries,” Haddad said. “But the talk of your (Russian) troop presence on Syrian territory is a lie spread by Western countries, the United States.”
The remarks came after Washington said Moscow was expanding its military presence in Syria and aimed to create a forward air operating base at an airfield south of Latakia Province.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

By Syria’s side
Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied speculations that Moscow is engaged in a military buildup in Syria as suggested by the United States and NATO. However, he said Russia would continue to send military equipment to the Syrian government as well as the humanitarian assistance Damascus needs for its people.
Lavrov has said military experts would inevitably accompany the arms consignments to Syria in order to train Syrian soldiers on how to use them.
Moscow has been one of the main supporters of Syria since the foreign-backed militancy erupted in the Arab country in March 2011.
This is while Washington and a number of its allies have actively sought the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad through their support of Takfiri terrorists committing atrocities in Syria.

Daesh (ISIL) militants in Syria (file photo)

On September 13, Lavrov questioned the sincerity of Washington as it leads the so-called international coalition against the Takfiri Daesh (ISIL) terrorists in the Middle East. He said his country had been informed by sources within the coalition that the US had in a number of instances, refused to authorize airstrikes on confirmed Daesh positions in Syria.
The violence in Syria has killed more than 250,000 people.
Over four million Syrians have also been forced to take refuge in neighboring countries, including Jordan and Lebanon. More than 7.2 million others have been displaced internally, according to UN figures.


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