National Post

KREMLIN PROVIDES WEAPONS TO SYRIAN OPPOSITION GROUP

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MOSCOW President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russia has provided air cover, weapons and supplies to the Free Syrian Army, a leading Western- backed opposition group in Syria.

If confirmed, it will represent a major policy shift for Moscow. Putin also called for closer co- ordination between Russia and the U.S .- allied coalition, a statement that may reflect Moscow’s desire to narrow difference­s with the West over the Syrian crisis.

At the same time, Putin vowed to further modernize Russia’s military and said its forces in Syria will“immediatel­y destroy” any target threatenin­g them, a strong warning to Turkey following its downing of a Russian warplane at the Syrian border.

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