US viewers were not given the chance to hear Putin explain Syria and point out that American weapons have been ending up in the hands of terrorists
- For the entire interview and transcript see here
Originally appeared at Fort Russ
Putin: There is only one regular legitimate army over there, it is the army of the president of Syria, Assad. And, according to some of our international partners, he is facing opposition, but in reality, in life, Assad's army is fighting terrorist organizations. You know better than me about the hearings that just took place in the Senate, where the military, Pentagon representatives reported before the senators about what was done by the US for the preparation of the battle group of opposition forces.
First they wanted to prepare 5-6 thousand fighters, then - 12 thousand. At the end it turned out that they prepared just 60. Only 4 or 5 are fighting with arms, and the rest fled to ISIS with American weapons.
This is first. Second, in my opinion military aid to illegitimate structures is not in accordance with the principles of international law and the statute of the United Nations. We support only legitimate government structures.
In this regard we offer cooperation to other countries of the region. We are trying to built a coordination structure. I have personally informed president of Turkey, the King of Jordan, Saudi Arabia. We informed the US. Mister Kerry, whom you mentioned, had a detailed conversation with our minister of foreign affairs Sergey Lavrov, and our military is in touch discussing this issue. We will be happy if we find a common platform for joint actions against the terrorists.
Putin: I have no doubt that almost everyone at the UN will talk about the need to fight terrorism, I cannot escape that subject. It is natural, because it is a common threat to all of us, it is a challenge to all of us. Today terrorism is a threat to many states around the world. Hundreds of thousands, millions of people are threatened by terrorism. And there is a task before all of us to join our efforts in the fight against this evil.
As far as our presence in Syria, at the moment it is reflected in weapons aid to the Syrian government, training and humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people.
We are following the statute of the UN, the founding principles of the modern international law, according to which, military aid must be provided solely to the legitimate governments at their request, OR at the decision of the UN Security Council.
Currently we are dealing with a request of the Syrian government for military-technical help, which is what we are doing in the framework of legal international contracts.