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VLADIVOSTOK, October 11. /TASS/. The Russian mission in Syria is not spontaneous, it fulfils earlier plans, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the Rossiya 1 television broadcaster on Sunday.
"Everything happening in the air and on the ground is not spontaneous, those actions are fulfilling the earlier agreed plans," he said.
The Russian Aerospace Forces "have trained for the mission."
"We have made certain preparations, namely we have accumulated in a place we needed and at the time we needed the necessary amount of force and equipment," Putin said. "We made persistently and for a long time space and air reconnaissance. We analysed different kinds of information we received."
The General Staff has been coordinating its work with Syrian counterparts and other countries in the region. Then the centre in Bagdad was organized, he said. "As a result of data exchange we received additional information," the president said.
Terrorism threatens a great many countries in the Middle East, said Putin.
He shared words of a country leader in the region, who called the Middle East’s Islamic countries "first victims of terrorism." He said though countries are prepared to fight terrorism. Putin compared this desire with actions of some other countries, which are only claiming the intention to fight the evil. He mentioned the programme, which the US has closed already.
"At first they planned to train 12,000 people, then they said they will train six (thousand people), then they have trained only 60. And later on it became clear realistically against IS are fighting only four-five people," the Russian president said. "They wasted $500 million. They should have given that money to us, we could use it more effectively in fighting international terrorism. No doubt about it."
"Anyway, it is necessary to have that work (fighting terrorism), like I have said, to have a full-fledged exchange of information," Putin said.
In the mission in Syria Russia is not taking part in the conflict between Shiites and Sunnis.
"It is a false statement, a false thesis," the president said.
"We do not differ between Shiites and Sunnis," he said adding in Russian about 10% are followers of Islam. "They are equally citizens of this country, like Christians or Jews, and we do not differ."
This country, he said, has good relations with countries which have both Shiite and Sunni movements.