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Putin: deployment of S-400 in Syria not aimed against antiterror partners

November 27, 2015, 3:16 UTC+3
"Air defense systems are in no way aimed against our partners, jointly with whom we are fighting terrorists in Syria," Putin underscored while answering the question on deployment of S-400s in Syria
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© The picture from the video. Press Service of the Defense Ministry and the information/TASS

MOSCOW, November 26. /TASS/. Deployment in Syria of Russia’s S-400 air defense missile systems is called upon to protect Russian Aerospace Forces’ aircraft and does not contradict work with the coalition led by the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after talks with his French counterpart Francois Hollande.

"Air defense systems are in no way aimed against our partners, jointly with whom we are fighting terrorists in Syria," Putin underscored while answering the question on deployment of S-400s in Syria.

"It does not in any way contradict what we do with the coalition led by the United States," the Russian leader said.

He said that in order to defend its planes in Syria, Russia will use not only the S-400 systems but also other means - fighter escort, electronic warfare etc.

Putin said Russia and France are united in their intention to find and punish those involved in the recent terrorist attacks on a Russian plane and those committed in Paris.

"It’s our common tragedy and we are united in our intention to find and punish the perpetrators," Putin said after talks with French President Francois Hollande.

The Turkish Air Force’s F-16 fighter on Tuesday shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber that Ankara claims violated the country’s airspace on the border with Syria. The Su-24M crew ejected but one of the two pilots was killed by fire from the ground. The second pilot was rescued as a result of a 12-hour operation. During evacuation of the Su-24M crew, a Mi-8 helicopter was lost and a contract marine was killed.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said the Su-24M was above Syrian territory and "there was no violation of Turkey’s airspace." It said the Turkish Air Force fighter violated Syria’s airspace.

To protect Russian aircraft in Syria, state-of-the-art S-400 air defense systems, whose killing range reaches 400 kilometers, were redeployed to the Khmeimim airbase. Besides, the Russian missile cruiser Moskva equipped with the Fort air defense system (sea version of S-300) approached the Syrian coast.

Russia’s Defense Ministry warned that Russian strike aircraft will be accompanied by fighters during sorties, while all potentially dangerous targets will be destroyed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Turkey’s attack will have "serious consequences" for Russian-Turkish relations.

Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes in Syria at facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations, which are banned in Russia, on September 30, 2015, on a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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