7 Mar 2018 11:25

Russia helps Syrian govt prevent emergence of large terror hotbed - Putin

MOSCOW. March 7 (Interfax) - Russia decided to help the Syrian government not because it wanted to 'rattle the saber' but in order to prevent to appearance of a large terror hotbed in the place of Syria and 'another Afghanistan nearby', Russian President Vladimir Putin said in the World Order 2018 film by Vladimir Solovyov.

"We made the decision regarding Syria not because we wanted to rattle the saber and show everyone how tough we were. No, we proceeded from the real information which we had and which, to put it mildly, caused our extreme concern," Putin said.

Terrorist groups operating in Syria involved 2,500 people with origins in Russia, and 4,500 people with origins in Central Asian countries, which have a visa-free travel system with Russia, he said.

"The collapse of Syria's statehood was fraught with the appearance of a large terror hotbed and its existence for a long time, for decades. It is hardly a pleasure to have another Afghanistan near us. Other severe consequences were possible if we had not done what we did: delivered a blow on terrorists in Syria, killed many of them, and promoted the establishment of authorities in that territory," Putin said.