French troops arrested in Syria as Assad hails Putin victory

Published March 5th, 2012 - 01:51 GMT
Assad and Russia FM
Assad and Russia FM

The Syrian army arrested 13 French soldiers in the city of Homs, a scene of violent clashes between the armed opposition and government troops, the British newspaper Daily Star reported on Monday, quoting informed sources.

The purpose and the exact date of the arrival of the French military personnel to Syria remain uncertain, according to the sources.

The spokesman of the French diplomacy Bernard Valero said that the information was baseless and that sending soldiers into Syria was never considered.

This is not the first time that the press conveys information about the presence of foreign troops on the Syrian soil. In early February, the media published reports that the UK and Qatar have deployed elite units in Syria.

Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad congratulated Vladimir Putin on his victory in Russian presidential elections, reported the official news agency SANA. This came as Russia continues its support to Damascus despite the bloody repression of the opposition. President Bashar Assad sent a congratulatory letter to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on the occasion of his victory in the presidential vote held yesterday, SANA said, adding that Mr. Assad expressed on behalf of the Syrian people his heartfelt congratulations to his remarkable election. 


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