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MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. Russia’s air defense systems will remain on permanent combat duty in Syria and be used against any targets that might threaten Russian military, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Russian military servicemen in the Kremlin.
"Our bases in Syria at Tartus and Hmeimim and their personnel that will remain on duty there will be well-protected on the ground, on the sea and in the air. All components of the deployed air defenses, including Pantsir-F near range systems and long-range systems Triumf S-400 will be on permanent combat alert," Putin said.
"All of our partners have been warned and know well: our air defense systems will be used against any targets we may interpret as a threat to Russian military servicemen," Putin said. "Any targets, mind you."
He emphasized Russia’s significant role in restoring the potential of Syrian air defenses.
"All parties concerned have been warned about that. Everybody knows that," Putin said, adding that Russia proceeded from the fundamental international rules: nobody had the right to violate the air space of a sovereign country, Syria in this particular case.
He described the mechanism of air incidents prevention, created in cooperation with the United States, as very effective.
Putin promised further support for the legitimate government of Syria.
"It is comprehensive: financial assistance, supplies of weapons and armaments, intelligence support, and staff assistance in planning operations. Lastly, there is immediate, direct support, I mean the aerospace group and attack and fighter aircraft," Putin said, adding that the Russian forces remaining in Syria would be enough to cope with the tasks set to them."