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Putin says US is unaware how to bridle terrorists they use against Assad regime in Syria

October 12, 21:23 UTC+3
In an interview with French channel TF1 the Russian president has shared his views on Syrian crisis - the responsibility for the situation in Aleppo rests first of all with the US and its allies
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© Alexey Nukolsky/presidential press-service/TASS

MOSCOW, October 12. /TASS/. The United States underestimate the consequences of meddling with terrorists and using them for the achievement of national political goals, particularly in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with French television channel TF1.

"I believe that our partners keep falling into the same trap over and over again," Putin said.

"They want to use the combat potential of these terrorist organizations and radicals to achieve political goals, which in this particular case is to overthrow (Syrian) President (Bashr) Assad and his government, without realizing that it would be later impossible to put them (terrorists) back in the so-called stables and make them living like civilized people."

The Russian president said that the current situation in Aleppo is under control of the Jabhat an-Nusra terrorist organization.

"What makes us sad and bewilders at the same time is that our partners in Washington are trying to pull out this organization beyond the frames of terrorist organizations," the Russian president added.  

Responsibility for the situation in Aleppo rests first of all with the United States and its allies, Vladimir Putin said:

"I am deeply convinced that responsibility for the situation that has developed in the region on the whole and in Syria in particular, first of all rests with our Western partners, and of course first of all with the US and its allies."

The president said accusations targeting Russia for alleged war crimes in Syria are "political rhetoric which doesn’t make much sense and does not take into account the real state of things".

Deplorable results of exported democracy

"Let us remember how passionately everybody supported the Arab spring," he went on. "Where is this optimism now? How did it all end? Let us bring back to mind what were Libya or Iraq before these states or state structures were destroyed by forces of our different Western partners," he said. "Of course, these were not examples of democracy in our today’s understanding," Putin stressed.

He agreed that "possibly influence could and should have been put to change the pattern of the society, the structure of the state, the government, the very nature of power," in some countries of that region. "But in any case, most certainly there were no signs of terrorism there," Putin said.

He said these countries posed no danger to France, the US and Russia. "Now, this is a source of a terrorist threat," he stated. "Our aim is to prevent the same in Syria," Putin added.

He recalled US airstrikes on an Afghan hospital in which representatives of Medicines sans Frontieres were killed, as well as attacks on wedding ceremonies and on a funeral procession in Yemen. "Unfortunately, innocent people suffer in any place where warfare is underway," he stated. "But we cannot let the terrorists use people as human shield, we cannot let them blackmail the entire world, when they are taking somebody hostage, when they kill and behead people," Putin went on.

"If you want to bring fight against terrorism to an end, we must fight against them instead of going on their leash, bow or backtrack," he said.

US refused to protect road to Aleppo together with Russia 

Putin said he had not granted permission to Russian military to protect the road for supply of humanitarian cargoes to Aleppo alone, and the US refused to do this jointly.

Within the framework of efforts towards the Syrian settlement, Moscow had received "an exotic proposal" - "to have Russian army servicemen deployed on that road (Castello Road in Aleppo) to ensure the safety (of humanitarian convoys)".

"Our military - courageous and resolute people - came to me and said: yes, of course, we are ready," Putin went on. "I said - no, we will do it but only together with Americans, suggest this to them," Putin said.

"The US immediately refused, they reject their deployment, they don’t want to organize the withdrawal (from Castello Road) of armed units of opposition, terrorist groups," the Russian president added. 

Terrorists behind Aleppo aid convoy attack 

Russia knows for sure that a terrorist organization is to blame for the September attack on the humanitarian aid convoy in Aleppo, Putin believes: 

"There (near Aleppo) is only one road for [humanitarian] convoys. There are militants on the one side and Syrian army units on the other side."

"We are aware of the provocation and of the attack on it and we know for sure that it was done by one of the terrorist groups," Putin said.

He confirmed Moscow's position that it is necessary to deliver humanitarian aid to this Syrian city.

On September 19, the UN-Red Crescent aid convoy of 31 trucks was destroyed near Aleppo. As a result, 18 of 31 trucks were destroyed and at least 21 people were killed. The United States blamed the attack on Russia and Syria, while Moscow and Damascus denied the accusations.

According to the Russian General Staff, the attack was orchestrated by the opposition forces linked to the Al-Nusra Front, which is outlawed in Russia.

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