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    Putin: US Agrees With Russia That Terrorists Absorb Syrian Opposition

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    Washington understands Moscow's call for separating "moderate" opposition and terrorists in Syria but does not know how to do it, Vladimir Putin said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The United States agrees with Russia that terrorist organizations make up part of the Syrian opposition, but does not know how to separate its moderate elements from the radicals, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday.

    "One of the fundamental difficulties [in Russian-US negotiations] lies in the fact that we insist – and our American partners do not deny it – that the so-called healthy part of the opposition should be separated from radical groups and terrorist organizations," Putin said in an interview with Bloomberg published on the Kremlin website.

    He noted that jihadists start "absorbing the so-called healthy part of the opposition." "Among other things, it is no longer part of internal strife. These are newly arrived fighters who receive arms and ammunition from abroad."

    "In fact, our American partners agree with this, but they do not know how to do it [separate radical from moderate opposition members]," Putin stressed.

    Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad fighting numerous opposition factions and extremist groups. On February 27, a US-Russia brokered ceasefire came into force in Syria. Terrorist groups, which maintain a heavy presence in Aleppo, are not part of the deal.

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    The Syrian war, Vladimir Putin, Russia, United States
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