MOSCOW, October 13. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed bewilderment on Tuesday over the targets of US airstrikes in Syria.
"On Sunday, the American aviation bombed out an electrical power plant and a transformer in Aleppo. Why have they done this? Whom have they punished there? What’s the point? Nobody knows," the president said at a meeting with the Russian government members.
Saying that the United States’ airstrike targets in Aleppo were strange, the Russian president said he was certain that "Everything will become clear and fewer mistakes will be made if direct and business-like contact is established with a view to settling all the problems, including those in the financial sphere."
The president touched upon the issue of misunderstanding between different countries talking of another problem - the settlement of the Ukrainian debt to Russia. "These matters should be once again discussed in a calm working atmosphere with the aim of finding a solution so that all problems are not shifted to our shoulders again," Putin said, citing as an example the statements that Russia has allegedly aimed at the "wrong" targets in Syria.
Previously, Putin said that Russia’s military role in Syria will not involve a ground operation. "We’re not going to do it, and our Syrian friends know about it," he told state TV. Putin also said Russia has no reason to get involved in Syria's civil war. "It is not about the foreign policy. Russian foreign policy is peace-loving without any exaggeration," Putin said. According to him, "If you look at the world map, and see what Russia is, it becomes obvious that we do not need any foreign territories or foreign natural resources. Russia is a self-sufficient country. We do not need someone to fight and conflict with."
Putin also dismissed the West’s allegations that Russia is trying to wipe out Syrian dissidents who oppose Syrian President Bashar Assad. "In response to the accusations against us that we carry out airstrikes on the moderate opposition, and not on IS and other terrorist organisations, we respond: Let’s say you know better the situation on the ground. You've been there for more than a year illegally. Just give us targets, and we'll work them out."
Russian aerospace forces launched pinpoint strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on September 30 with a Syria-based group assembling more than 50 warplanes and helicopters. Air strikes are delivered at military hardware, communications centres, transport vehicles, munitions depots and other infrastructure. Military operations are conducted at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad.