10:00 GMT02 July 2020
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    Konstantin Kosachev, the Russian Federation Council’s Committee on Foreign Affairs chairman, said that Russian military operation in Syria was a reaction to the threat of international terrorism.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – US State Department’s remarks on possible terrorist attacks on Russian cities are an intentional provocation, Konstantin Kosachev, the Russian Federation Council’s Committee on Foreign Affairs chairman, said Thursday.

    US State Department spokesman John Kirby said at a press briefing Wednesday that the ongoing conflict in Syria could "no question" spill over into attacks against Russia's interests and cities, and "Russia will continue to send troops home in body bags."

    "Remarks by John Kirby by definition cannot be regarded as a bad figure of speech or unconsidered impromptu. This expression of either care or threat of the US State Department anyway sounds rather strange. And knowing the procedure of preparing official comments of official spokespersons, I can say that it was a well (or badly) planned provocation," Kosachev told RIA Novosti.

    He noted that Russian military operation in Syria was a reaction to the threat of international terrorism.

    "Of course, there is a connection between developments in Syria and threats to Russian civilians. As there is such a connection and such a threat for Europeans – for example, in Brussels and Paris. Neither Belgium, nor France started such a large-scale military operation in Syria but that did not protect residents of their capitals from terror attacks," Kosachev said.

    He added that terrorism did not choose its targets because of the countries’ involvement in fight against it. He called on the United States to actively engage in a real fight against terrorism.

    Russia has been conducting an aerial campaign against terrorists in Syria since September 30, 2015 at President Bashar Assad's request. Russian military aviation had carried out more than 9,000 sorties by March 2016, helping Damascus turn the tide of war and launch offensives in key regions of the country.

    In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the pullout of the bulk of the Russian contingent in Syria as the anti-terrorist campaign's objectives had broadly been completed. At the same time, Russia did not abandon its obligations to provide the Syrian government with weapons and military equipment, train military specialists. Hmeimim air base and a naval facility in the port of Tartus remain operational while Russia's S-400 and Pantsir air defense systems continue to be on duty in Syria to protect Russian servicemen in the war-torn country.


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