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Published in Press Stream:
October 1, 2015

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Published in Stream:
October 1, 2015
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Putin Denies Attacks on Syrian Civilians; Calls on US to Form Information Exchange
6 years
Stream: October 1, 2015
Publication: Putin in Syria
Not Intervening Can Be as Great a Risk as Intervening
PM al-Abadi 'Would Welcome' Russian Air Strikes On Iraqi Territory
In remarks to the Russian media, President Vladimir Putin dismissed claims by the West and Saudi Arabia today that Russian air strikes in Syria hit residential areas, killing at least 36 civilians, including children, TASS reported. Calling such reports "information attacks," Putin remarked (translation by The Interpreter):

"For more than a year now, other countries have been delivering strikes on Syrian territory -- for more than a year. [These actions] have been done without a resolution from the UN Security Council and without the appropriate request from the official Syrian authorities. We have such a request and we intend to fight exactly the terrorist organizations.

As for media information regarding the suffering of the civilian population, we are prepared for these information attacks. The first reports that there were casualties among the civilian population appeared before our planes even reached altitude."

Putin also reiterated that he hoped that Russia and the US would create a regularly operating mechanism to exchange information on Syria. But he added that this did not mean that Russia should heed "information attacks":

"It is precisely for this reason that we are establishing contacts between our intelligence services, between our intelligence services and those of the US, and between our defense ministries. This work is under way, and I hope that it will end with the creation of a permanently operating mechanism.

We have already created another international mechanism in Baghdad in which several countries take part and constant work is underway there."

Russia has recently formed a coordinating center with Iran, Iraq and Syria, which opened up the question of whether US advisers providing information to Iraq would now be sharing it involuntarily with Russia.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick