Russia seems confused about either it is defending Syrian rebels

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, chairs a assembly with troops officials in a National Defense Control Center in Moscow on Dec. 11. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin pool print around AP)

MOSCOW — Last Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin forsaken a bombshell when he announced that Russia was providing arms to a Free Syrian Army, a collection of Syrian insurgent forces backed by a United States whose categorical idea is to overpower Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Moscow’s ally.

“I will note specifically that a work of a aviation is compelling a formation of efforts with supervision army and a Free Syrian Army,” Putin said, deliberating a formula of a Russian airstrike debate in Syria that began in late September. “Currently several of a units amounting to some-more than 5,000 men, as good as unchanging army forces, are carrying out descent actions opposite terrorists in a provinces of Homs, Hama, Aleppo and Raqqa. Moreover we are ancillary them from a air, usually like a Syrian army, providing them support in arms, ammunition and element support.”

The matter amounted to a reversal, or during slightest pointy deviation, in Russia’s plan in Syria. Russia’s categorical idea in Syria is to back Assad’s government. Moscow has portrayed a antithesis to Assad in Syria as dominated by Islamist army like a Islamic State and dismissed a some-more assuage Free Syrian Army as insufficient or nonexistent. Moscow has also been indicted of bombing a Free Syrian Army’s positions in provinces where insurgent army were creation gains opposite Assad’s government.

At a same time, the Free Syrian Army has uploaded videos of a fighters regulating U.S.-supplied TOW anti-tank missiles to blow up Syrian army tanks advancing under Russian atmosphere support. One video also supposed to uncover a TOW barb destroying a downed Russian helicopter in an operation that left one Russian sea dead.

As Syria increasingly takes on a semblance of a proxy war between outward powers including a United States and Russia, it seemed that a Free Syrian Army was on a front lines of that conflict.

So it was not unconditionally unexpected when Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, later denied that Russia was provision a Free Syrian Army with weapons, observant that reporters had misinterpreted Putin’s statement and that Russia usually gives arms “to a legitimate authorities of a Syrian Arab Republic.”

As spokesman, Peskov spasmodic has to kindly scold Putin’s statements but observant a boss was mistaken. On Friday, Peskov did not contend that Putin had been misquoted in a Kremlin twin or that he had misspoken, instead revelation reporters not to “cling to meanings in this case.” But there were whinging questions that remained unaddressed, including who were a 5,000 soldiers collaborating with a government’s army opposite a Islamic State. Was Putin referring to a Free Syrian Army or another force in Syria, such as a pro-Assad militias that are fighting alongside a supervision or Kurdish fighters in Syria’s north?

Free Syrian Army commanders, meanwhile, have pronounced that they’re not removing assistance from Moscow and that Russian warplanes have continued bombing their positions.

On Monday, a Russian troops reignited conjecture about arms deliveries to a Free Syrian Army when armed army Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov repeated Putin’s difference roughly verbatim.

“Now units of a Free Syrian Army, altogether some-more than 5,000 group together with a unchanging Syrian army, are rising offensives in a provinces of Homs, Hama, Aleppo and Raqqa,” Gerasimov pronounced on Monday during a lecture during a military’s National Control Defense Center. “The series of such formations of a Free Syrian Army are always growing. For their support alone, Russian aviation daily carries out 30 to 40 strikes. They are also aided with arms, ammunition and element goods.”

Peskov on Monday pronounced that a Free Syrian Army units fighting opposite a Islamic State were “supported by a Russian armed forces,” but declined to criticism further.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Kozhin, a senior Kremlin confidant on troops technology, when asked either Russia was provision a Free Syrian Army, gave a brusque reply: “No.”

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