Putin talks: Syrian opposition fighters spreading chaos in the country
Putin discussed his views on the Syrian conflict and his relationship with the West, claiming Al Qaeda fighters brought in by the FSA in Syria were liable to bring about the same chaos as they did in Afghanistan.
He said bringing in militant fighters to aid the FSA was like unlocking inmates from Guantanamo Bay and bringing them to the Levantine state.
Russia has experience dealing with similar fighters in Afghanistan, having invaded the Muslim country in 1979. The Soviets were expelled by Mujahideen fighters, armed by the US and Pakistan, a decade later. Historians claim arming the Mujahideen was partly responsible for the formation of Al Qaeda.
The Russian leader, who has come under fire for providing weapons to the Syrian army and vetoing intervention at the UN Security Council, hit back at the accusations saying Syria needed change but that it didn’t “mean change should come with bloodshed.”
Despite evidence that Russia has been supplying the Syrian regime with weaponry, Putin said he did not agree with “supplying arms and imposing dead-end solutions on Syria.”
“We must urge all the warring parties, including the government and the so-called rebels, the armed opposition, to sit down at the negotiating table and decide on a future that would guarantee security for all stakeholders in Syria”, he told Russia Today.
The Russian president also denied responsibility for fuelling sectarianism in the region, saying he treated Shia and Sunni equally. Saudi Arabia have been firm supporters of the Syrian opposition but Putin claimed even with Saudi, Russian relations were “warm”.
The Russian president went on to express concern about the democratic developments in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya hinting that he thought there was more unrest to come.
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