Putin Says Russia’s Military Support Prevented Syria Disintegration

Putin Says Russia’s Military Support Prevented Syria Disintegration
Wed Apr 20, 2016 22:31:32

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow’s military campaign in Syria helped prevent “disintegration” of the Arab country and avoid mass civilian casualties there.

Putin made the remarks during a ceremony in Moscow on Wednesday while accepting the credentials of 16 foreign ambassadors and plenipotentiaries.

"This support given by Russia to the legitimate government of Syria helped prevent the disintegration of the Syrian state, its statehood, [and] it preserved power structures and prevented mass victims among the civilian population,” Putin said.

The Russian president further noted that the successful operations conducted by the Syrian army and the Russian air force led to the liberation of several areas from terrorists, including the ancient city of Palmyra in Homs Province.

Backed by the Russian air cover, the Syrian troops “liberated more than 400 villages and towns” and “eliminated thousands of terrorists,” he added.

The Russian leader also emphasized that the international community can achieve “pronounced results” in Syria by taking a "unified action based on international law and the central role of the UN."

Russia launched its air campaign against Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria last September upon a request by the Damascus government. Later in mid-March, the bulk of Russian military forces were withdrawn from Syria.

Syrian forces have managed to retake many militant-held areas over the past few months.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.

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