Russia does not intend to change to its position on Syria, said President Vladimir Putin in an interview broadcast Thursday by the RT channel. "Why should Russia reassess its position?" asked the Russian president, who also criticized the Western powers of supporting Muslim extremists to overthrow Bashar al-Assad.
"Today, someone uses Al Qaeda fighters or people from other organizations that share its extremist agenda to achieve their goals in Syria. It is a very risky and inconsistent policy," said Putin. The United States continues might as well "open the doors and let all Guantanamo detainees go and fight in Syria. This is the same thing," he added.
Meanwhile, Syrian troops took over from the rebels a town on the border with Jordan, used as a transit point for refugees fleeing the civil war in the country, confirmed activists. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) and a local activist named Mohammed Abu Houran, hundreds of Syrian troops, backed by 20 tanks, stormed Tel Shehab Thursday morning. The rebels fought back, but they were repulsed. According to Abu Houran, there were some 2,000 refugees at Tel Shehab when the city was retaken. Syrian rebels, who say they control more than half of Syria, occupied Tel Shehab for several months. According to Abu Houran, the city had suffered from repeated attacks by government forces.