Putin: External interference aggravates situation in Syria

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that the situation in Syria has been aggravated due to the external interference.

“It is easy to separate the moderate opposition from terrorist groups,” Putin said in his speech at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum.

He stressed that many Russians are fighting with terrorist militants in Syria.

Putin also insisted that the Syrian leader didn’t use chemical weapons against his people, saying the recent attack that killed scores of civilians was a “provocation” against President Bashar Assad.

Earlier, Putin expressed his concern about the possibility of the division on the Syrian land, stressing the necessity to make the conflict- free areas as a model for the future political discussions, to maintain the territorial integrity of Syria, as per what he said.

Putin added that there is a specific fear of the possibility of those areas to turn into models to divide the country in the future.

Putin stressed that Moscow hopes to start a discussion or interaction between those regions and the regime in Damascus.

Putin expresses his confidence that it is possible to have discussion between the regime in Damascus and the armed opposition, as a realistic practice in the conflict-free areas too.

Putin stressed the compatibility of the positions of Russia and Turkey on many issues related to the Syrian file, indicating that “without the Turkish-Russian understanding, the ceasefire and the agreement to establish conflict-free areas would not be achieved.”

Moscow and Tehran, allies of the Syrian regime, and Ankara who’s supporting the opposition signed an agreement in Astana capital of Kazakhstan that sates the establishment of four “conflict-free areas” in eight Syrian governorates, aimed to stop the shooting and bombing.