Kremlin Spokesman: No Plan to Send Ground Troops to Syria

Kremlin Spokesman: No Plan to Send Ground Troops to Syria
Tue Oct 6, 2015 17:54:41

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia is not planning to send ground troops to fight ISIL terrorists in Syria and will not support Russian volunteers willing to take part in the conflict.

Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman, announced that "This is not the government's role." President Vladimir Putin is not focused on the possibility of Russian citizens to join the Syrian army.

"This is not a topic on the agenda right now," he told Russian news agencies.

On Monday, admiral Vladimir Komoedov who heads the defense committee at Russian parliament's lower house told the Interfax news agency that a unit of Russian volunteers could join the Syrian army.

"Given that Russians are already fighting alongside the ISIL, we can think that others will want to fight in the ranks of the Syrian army," Komoedov told AFP on Tuesday.

But he stressed that Russia would not support any citizen-led initiatives to take part in conflicts beyond the country's borders." The Russian state has nothing to do with them," he said.

Under Russian law, individuals can face up to seven years in prison if found guilty of taking part in an armed conflict abroad.

Russia last week announced the launch of a bombing campaign against the ISIL group in Syria but Putin ruled out sending ground troops to the war-torn country.

The foreign ministry reiterated on Tuesday that Russia's involvement in Syria would be limited to its current air campaign.

"Volunteers are not being called upon, enlisted or campaigned for," foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing.

Separately, a high-ranking military official in Syria told AFP that Moscow's allegedly preparing for a ground intervention was a Western attempt at diminishing Russia's role. "Our Russian friends are merely conducting air strikes against terrorist groups," the official said; AFP reported.

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