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National Syrian Coalition: Russia is planning long-term occupation of Syria

November 6, 2015 at 2:36 pm

The National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces accused Russia of planning a long-term occupation of Syria.

The claims were based on the types of weapons Moscow is sending to Syria, including anti-aircraft systems and ground war systems and equipment, the group explained.

It pointed out that this contradicts Moscow’s claims that it is entering Syria to target “terrorism” and “terrorist organisations”.

In a press release issued yesterday, the coalition stated that the weapons Russia is sending into Syria suggest an attempt to divide the country and establish areas of Russian influence. This goes against its promises in Geneva and Vienna to preserve the unity of the Syrian state and to respect its sovereignty.

The coalition called on the Russian government to immediately withdraw its forces from the Syrian territories. It also warned that its continued military intervention will force the Syrian people and the Free Syrian Army to treat it as an occupying force and it will confront it with all available means.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force, Viktor Bondarev, has previously said that his country sent anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems to Syria to protect its forces there.

In his statement to Russia’s Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper, Bondarev stressed that these systems can bring down civilian airplanes that may be highjacked by countries neighbouring Syria that want to target the Russian base.

“We have studied all the possible threats. We not only sent fighter jets, attack aircraft, bomber aircraft, helicopters but also missile systems.”