US Wary of Russian Military Role in Syria

US Wary of Russian Military Role in SyriaUS Wary of Russian Military Role in Syria

Western media have recently been making strong claims about Russia’s alleged military involvement in Syria, to the point that US Secretary of State John Kerry started calling Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, sharing his concerns and adding more fuel to speculations.

The media debate around the suspected Russian military involvement in Syria reignited after President Putin’s answer was taken out of context when he was asked to clarify whether Russia is ready to take part in military operations against the Islamic State militants in Syria, RT reported.

“You know, this is a separate issue and we see what is going on right now. Say, the American aviation is making certain strikes. So far, their efficiency has not been very high, but it is too early to say that we are ready to do,” Putin said.

“However, we are providing Syria with significant support anyway, both in equipment and personnel training, and armaments. We signed major contracts with Syria some five to seven years ago, and we are complying with them in full,” President Putin explained, reminding his audience, that on many occasions before, Russia has honored all contracts signed with the Syrian government.

Yet some media outlets considered the Russian president’s remark somehow sensational, presenting it as nothing less than the first official acknowledgment of Moscow’s military involvement in the Syrian civil war.

In its statement, the US State Department placed a special emphasis on the fact that Kerry expressed “US concerns about reports suggesting an imminent enhanced Russian buildup there.”

Kerry’s concerns were apparently fueled by a New York Times article, wherein the publication speculated that Russia had supplied Syrians with prefabricated housing units in addition to a portable air traffic control station, with an anonymous source saying that Moscow could be planning the deployment of a military advance team of up to 1,000 troops to Syria.