Putin: Russia Has Conclusive Proof that Militants Prepare Provocations with Chemical Weapons in Syria

TEHRAN, September 7. /TASS/. Russia has conclusive proof that militants are preparing provocations involving chemical weapons in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a press conference after a trilateral summit between Russia, Turkey and Iran.

“We consider as unacceptable the wish to move terrorists away from the blow at the pretext of protecting civilian population, as well as to inflict damage to the Syrian government forces,” he said. “Apparently, attempts to stage the use of poisonous agents by the Syrian authorities have this goal.”

“We have conclusive evidence that militants are preparing such operations and provocations,” the Russian leader noted.

Putin reported that in light of this he informed his colleagues about the work carried out by Russia in the UN Security Council and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). “I’d like to note here that Syrian armed opposition groups are also joining the anti-terrorist efforts, which I consider to be extremely important,” he noted, specifying that this fact helps improve confidence between the Syrian sides.

The Russian state leader noted that during the summit the state leaders also studied the implementation of the decisions made by the Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue in Sochi. “Special attention was paid to the tasks of launching the constitutional committee, and agreement was reached to support the UN work to form its composition out of representatives for the Syrian government, the opposition and civil society,” he concluded, noting it will be necessary to coordinate such aspects of Syria’s future organization that will provide peaceful life for its citizens.

Putin hopes terrorists in Idlib will wisen up and lay down arms

TEHRAN, September 7. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin expects that the call for a ceasefire in Idlib will be heard and terrorists in this Syrian province will have sense enough to lay down their arms.

“We believe that an agreement will be reached and our call for a truce in the Idlib zone will be heard,” Putin stressed after the Tehran summit between Russia, Iran and Turkey. “We hope that the representatives of terrorist organizations will wisen up, stop putting up resistance and lay down their arms,” he said.

Putin noted “all our agreements on Syria have been always based on the fact that we seek and will continue seeking reconciliation among all conflicting sides and we have always omitted terrorist organizations.”

The Russian leader stressed that it’s important to bear in mind that many civilians reside in Idlib. Earlier, Russia and other countries made efforts enabling terrorists to move to Idlib from other Syrian provinces, even with small arms. He noted that there are many heavy armaments in Idlib. Militants from different groups create drones and get spare parts to manufacture these drones to use them for their aims, Putin added.

Clashes also occur inside the Idlib zone. “We cannot help but worry about all this, of course, and because of the fact that terrorists use civilians as shields like they always do,” Putin said.

According to the Russian leader, this regularly occurs, and the events in Raqqa, which was captured by the US-backed forces, serve as an example. “We heard then that terrorists who use civilians as shields are to blame for the deaths among the civilians,” the president said.

The Russian and Syrian military has always sought to ensure the exit of the civilian population, Putin noted, thanking Turkey and Iran for coordination on this issue.