Destroy any force that threatens Russian military in Syria: Putin

(From Sputnik)

Any force that threatens the Russian military in Syria should be destroyed, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a meeting with the Russian Defense Ministry  Friday.

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

He instructed the Russian forces in Syria to coordinate with command posts in Israel and the US-led coalition.

The Russian military operation in Syria is not motivated by geopolitical interests or a desire to test new weapons. It is initiated because Islamic State (IS) directly threatens Russia, Putin said.

Any force threatening the Russian military in Syria would be destroyed.

“I instruct you to act extremely rigid. Any target threatening a Russian grouping or our ground infrastructure needs to be immediately destroyed,” Putin said.

He said the ministry of defense must coordinate its actions with Israeli command and the US-led anti-IS coalition.

“It is important to enhance cooperation with all the countries which are really interested in eliminating terrorists. I am speaking of the contacts aimed at ensuring safety with Israeli Air Force command posts and with the forces of the anti-Daesh coalition led by the United States,” he said.

The Russian Aerospace Force’s actions in Syria are coordinated with Russia’s special services, and the Federal Security Service is uncovering terrorist cells, he said.

‘IS controls 70% of Syria’

Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu said IS has gained control over 70% of Syrian territory.

“Daesh (IS) is spreading: the militants control about 70% of Syrian territory and the majority of Iraq. The number [of terrorists] is close to 60,000. They might transfer to Central Asia and the Caucasus,” Shoigu said.

The minister added that about 60,000 terrorists in Syria and Iraq are a threat to Central Asia.

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