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Russian diplomat says foreign advisers to Syrian opposition no surprise

December 27, 2016, 17:44 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The diplomat has commented on media reports saying that during the operation to free Aleppo Syrian troops had seized military and political advisers who proved to be citizens of NATO countries

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. Foreign mercenaries and advisers in the ranks of the Syrian opposition should come as no surprise as Russia has pointed to this fact a number of times, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing.

When asked to comment on media reports saying that during the operation to free Aleppo Syrian troops had seized several dozens of military and political advisers who proved to be citizens of NATO countries, Zakharova said that she had no information on any prisoners, however, "it is no secret that there is a large number of mercenaries who claim to fight for democracy in Syria as they understand it, but in fact they are foreign nationals whose beliefs have nothing to do with democracy in Syria."

"Both armed and moderate opposition had foreign instructors among their leaders, who had been defining the local agenda, far from being a peaceful one," Zakharova noted. "Much effort has been expended to present these people as the Syrian opposition."

In this regard, the Russian diplomat pointed to the western instructors’ campaign aimed at training representatives of the Syrian opposition. "No one knows, how many recruits have been trained and provided with weapons as well as where they went, but there is no doubt that the number of terrorists of various kinds, who come from all around the world, have significantly increased in Syria," Zakharova said.

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