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 Russia seems to be plannig ground operation in Syria, - СNN

Pentagon officials claim Russia's possible preparation of a ground offensive in Syria against Assad's opponents. Vladimir Putin previously ruled out the possibility of participation of Russian troops in ground operations.

As reported by Censor.NET, two unnamed Pentagon officials said it to CNN.

The latest U.S. assessment of Moscow's activity in western Syria indicates Russia has moved several ground combat weapons and troops into the country to be seemingly used in a ground offensive.

According to the interlocutors, Russia is "stepping up its ground activity" to potentially back up Syrian forces in the field planning to attack anti-regime forces, rather than ISIS elements [a terrorist organization banned in Russia - ed.]

See more: Syrians blamed Putin of killing civilians, called on Russian Orthodox Church. PHOTOS

CNN sources indicate that the equipment includes several piece of artillery, as well as four BM-30 multiple-launch rocket systems. The weapons have been spotted between the towns of Homs and Idlib, the TV channel says.

According to CNN, several weeks ago, Russia moved about half a dozen artillery pieces into Latakia port. The U.S. originally had thought that might be for defense of the port, but the latest move is an indication of potential ground attacks in the coming days, the officials said.

As reported, Russia has moved electronic jamming equipment into Syria. This, the channel says, could potentially give the Russians the ability to jam electronics of coalition aircraft used to fight ISIS.

Read more: Russia is making grave mistake in Syria, - Erdogan

The possibility of a ground operation in Syria is rejected by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Last week, he said that Moscow would not go deep into the Syrian conflict. "We will support the Syrian army exclusively in its legitimate struggle against terrorist groups, and secondly, the support will be solely in the air without participation in ground operations," Putin stated. Russia's General Staff ruled out conscripts' participation in the Syrian campaign.

On Friday, Head of the Duma Committee on Defense, Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov admitted that Russian volunteers, previously fighting in the Donbas, could join Syrian government troops as a separate Russian volunteers unit.

Read more: Just one in 20 Russian air strikes hit Islamic State
 
 
 
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