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Senate speaker rules out Russia's participation in ground operation in Syria

December 12, 2016, 14:41 UTC+3

"We have made it clear from the beginning," Russia’s Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said

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© Vadim Grishankin/Department of press service and information of the Russian Defense Ministry/TASS

ABU DHABI, December 12. /TASS/. Moscow has no plans to send its troops to take part in the ground operation in Syria, Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said on Monday.

"Russia had no plans to participate in the ground operation in Syria, we don’t plan to send troops to Syria, we have made it clear from the beginning," Matviyenko told reporters. She added that Russia’s Aerospace Force had been providing support to the Syrian troops in accordance with an agreement made with the country’s government.

"Our goal is not to conduct a ground operation in Syria but to provide our Aerospace Force’s support to the Syrian government forces," the speaker added.

Matviyenko also pointed out that Syria’s future was being determined in eastern Aleppo. In the senator’s opinion, it is necessary to continue counterterrorism operation in the region to prevent the militants from regrouping, gathering strength and increasing violence against civilians. Despite the terrorists’ violent resistance and the West’s calls for a cessation of hostilities in Aleppo, the fight against terrorists should be completed, the Russian senate speaker noted.

Kremlin on Russian troops on the ground in Syria 

The Kremlin does not comment on the possibility of using ground forces during Russia's operation in Syria, Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters. 

"All tactical questions should be addressed to my counterparts in the Defense Ministry," he said when asked whether the developments in Syria could lead to using Russia’s ground forces during the military operation in that country.

Peskov recalled that "some components of ground forces have been present [in Syria] from the very beginning, namely, those who ensure safety of temporary bases and so on." "As for the details, you’d better address these questions to the Defense Ministry," he added.

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