Putin orders threats to Russian forces in Syria to be “immediately destroyed”

In a Russian TV address Friday, President Vladimir Putin said that he had ordered “extremely tough action against any threat to Russian forces in Syria. Such targets,” he said, “must be immediately destroyed.”  Western military sources took this to be a reference to Turkey and a further escalation in the tension between Moscow and Ankara. Putin also disclosed that the Russian army now supports the Free Syrian Army, without going into details. Until now, the United States has backed the FSA with arms and training in Jordan. DEBKAfile: Putin’s comment revealed another aspect of the broad understanding the Kremlin and the Obama administration had secretly reached for the Syrian conflict.

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