Russian President Vladimir Putin says the Kremlin will continue to back Syria in the case of foreign military intervention.
Putin responded to a question about Syria at the G20 summit by saying, “Will we help Syria? Yes, we will. We’re doing it right now, we’re supplying arms.”
Over the course of the 29-month Syrian conflict, Russia has provided the regime of Bashar al-Assad with supplies including guns, grenades, tank parts, fighter jets, advanced anti-ship cruise missiles, long-range air defense missiles, military officers as advisers, diplomatic cover, and lots of cash.
Bloomberg BNA reporter Claire Compton said the room was taken aback:
“Audible reaction in the room following Putin’s statement of support for Syria in event of military intervention”
Putin added that he believes allegations of a August 21 chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus was a “provocation” by Syrian rebels.
“Chemical weapons allegations were a provocation on the parts of Syrian militants to get support from those countries who support them and encourage intervention,” Putin told reporters.
The U.S. Congress is currently debating whether to authorize a use of military force in Syria in resposne to chemical weapons use.