Russia prepared to deploy ground forces to Syria: Sources
24 April, 2017
Syrian military sources say Moscow has informed Damascus of its preparedness to dispatch ground troops to the Arab country to help Syrian government forces with battles against the foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists.
The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed on Monday that the Russian special forces were ready to be deployed in the areas where Syrian troops were engaged in serious battles against the terrorist groups.
They further noted that the technical aspects of the plan had already been drawn up, and that it would be implemented once the Damascus government puts in an official request and Russian President Vladimir Putin issues the order.
Earlier this month, Russian newspaper Izvestia reported that the country's ground forces were about to restore security to Christian-populated regions during the Syrian army's forthcoming counter-terrorism operations in the northern countryside of Hama Province.
The daily added that the Russian units would help popular defense groups bring back calm and stability to the city of Mahardah, located about 23 kilometers northwest of Hama. The Takfiri militants are besieged by the Syrian army forces from all directions there.
Viktor Ozerov, chairman of the defense committee in the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia's parliament, told Sputnik news agency on April 22 that Moscow would not hesitate to supply the Damascus government with the air defense missile systems it needed once a bilateral agreement was struck.
File photo shows Viktor Ozerov, chairman of the defense committee in the Federation Council, which is the upper house of Russia's parliament.
“The necessary quantity [of air defense systems] can be supplied on a priority basis. It will not place an onerous burden on our defense industry,” he said.
The remarks came a day after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Damascus and Moscow were engaged in negotiations to put into operation more air defense systems inside Syria.
“Damascus has always been interested in the latest generation of military hardware, but that depends on the accessibility of the systems, Russia’s policies as the supplier and prices,” Assad said.
Russia, along with Iran, has been assisting the Syrian government in its fight against terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the Arab country since 2011.