Syrian regime says Russian experts present in Syria

Syrian officials say Russian military experts presence in Syria has increased

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A man carries a child who survived what activists said were airstrikes by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus, Syria August 30, 2015.

A Syrian military official said on Wednesday, that Russian military experts have always been present in Syria, however he also admitted that within the last year, their presence and numbers has increased.

The statement released by the Syrian regime, follows Moscow’s announcement over Russian experts assisting with arms deliveries to Syria.

"Russian experts are always present but in the last year they have been present to a greater degree," the Syrian regime official said.

Syrian regime had said there were no Russian troops in combat roles.

Washington is closely monitoring media reports claiming Russia has deployed an air force contingent to Syria, White House spokesman Josh Earnest has said.

"We are aware of reports that Russia may have deployed military personnel and aircraft to Syria, and we are monitoring those reports quite closely," Earnest said.

“The US considers that the support for Syrian President Bashar Assad is "destabilising and counterproductive," he added.

It was not clear if Washington believes the allegations that have been earlier rejected by the Kremlin.

Russia has been a key ally to Syrian President, Bashar al Assad, along with Iran. The Syrian civil war has been ongoing for over four years, with a death toll that exceeds 240,000 according to the UK based Syrian Human Rights Observatory.

It was also reported today that Greece granted Russia the right to use its airspace for humanitarian flights to Syria on August 31, according to TASS news agency that quoted a Russian embassy official in Athens.

The approved request will be in effect from September 1 to September 24.

It was also reported today that Syrian rebels have captured Abu Dohur military airport in Syria's northwestern Idlib province, following two days of fierce clashes with regime fighters.

On ground activists said through social media, at least 300 Syrian regime officials and soldiers were arrested at the airport, but the number could not be verified from other sources.  

According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for human Rights (SOHR), the attack involved intense shelling from both sides. Syrian state television later confirmed the incident, saying that the Al Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front succeeded in seizing the airport entirely after two continuous years of confrontations.


TRTWorld and agencies