Russia is ready to “quickly” react over Turkey’s concerns in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
Speaking to reporters in Brazil following the BRICS Summit on Thursday, Putin said he is “in close contact” with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the Syrian settlement.
“As for the position of President Erdogan, we are in very close contact with him. I know that he has concerns about certain organizations, but we agreed during our last telephone conversation that, given the level of our interaction there, the Turkish side will pass its concerns on certain situations in the zone, which causes particular worry for Turkey, to its Russian colleagues at the operational working level.
“And if we really see that there are any violations, we are ready to react quickly,” Putin said.
Commenting on the U.S. role in fighting Daesh/ISIS, Putin said, both the country and its President Donald Trump contributed to its defeat in Syria.
But Russia considers the U.S. presence in Syria illegitimate, he stressed, as the country’s troops entered Syrian territory without a UN Security Council resolution.
As for Russia’s role, he said: “Any neutral observer will look and see what Russia’s role is, given the intensity of the fighting and its outcome”.
Putin added that Russia achieved its goals in Syria, one to prevent the return of the terrorists — originated from the former Soviet countries — to home, as it could pose a security threat.
After taking the Turkish-Syrian border under control, it became easier to deal with the moves of the terrorists, he said, adding that the information about militants in refugee camps facilitates the task.
Putin currently sees it necessary to focus on resolving problems in Syria’s Idlib province, as well as addressing the remaining ones in the eastern bank of the Euphrates and southeastern Al-Tanf area.
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