Syria conflict: Putin defends Russia’s air strikes
President Vladimir Putin has defended Russia’s military operations in Syria, saying the aim is to “stabilise the legitimate authority” of Syrian President Bashar alAssad.
Russia wants to “create conditions for a political compromise” in Syria, he told Russian state TV.
On Monday the EU’s foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, called Russia’s role “a game-changer”. She said: “It has some very worrying elements.”
The US and UK governments have accused Russia of attacking mainly “moderate” anti-Assad groups, rather than the jihadists. Mr Putin denied that that was the case. “The interventions against Daesh (IS) have to be clearly against Daesh and other terrorist groups, as defined by the UN,” Ms Mogherini stressed.
Syrian forces are said to have made significant advances against rebels.
Government gains in Idlib, Hama and Latakia provinces were on Sunday reported both by the Syrian government and opposition activists.