President Vladimir Putin has forcefully defended Russia’s military assistance to Syria, describing it as aid for a government fighting “terrorist aggression” and saying the migrant crisis in Europe would be far worse without it.
The United States has expressed concern about a recent Russian airlift to Syria that is believed to have included military hardware and soldiers.
“If Russia had not supported Syria, the situation in this country would have been worse than in Libya,” Putin said, and the flood of refugees would have been higher. Pentagon officials say Russia has sent some of its most modern battle tanks and other equipment to an airfield near President Bashar al-Assad’s hometown, Latakia, in western Syria, possibly to secure the area as a base for airstrikes in support of the government. FULL REPORT