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 Obama says Syria 'not a contest between me and Putin'

US President Barack Obama insisted Tuesday that Russia had made a strategic error in propping up Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad, but said the conflict was not about him and Vladimir Putin.

Censor.NET informs citing AFP via Yahoo News.

Predicting a "quagmire" that drains Russia's assets, Obama said "this is not a contest between me and Putin."

"The real question we should be asking is what is it that Russia thinks it gains if it gets a country that's been completely destroyed as an ally, that it now has to perpetually spend billions of dollars to prop up?" Obama said.

See more: Crews of Russian aircraft involved in attacks on civilian population in Syria. INFOGRAPHICS

"Putin may think that he's prepared to invest in a permanent occupation of Syria with Russian military. That's going to be pretty costly."

"About three-quarters of the country is still under control of folks other than Assad. That's not stopping anytime soon."

Obama said an internationally backed ceasefire due to take effect within a week, would be difficult to achieve, laying some of the blame at Putin's door.

"It's hard to do, because there's been a lot of bloodshed," said Obama.

Read more: Obama urges Russia to stop bombing 'moderate' Syria rebels

"If Russia continues indiscriminate bombing of the sort that we've been seeing, I think it's fair to say that you're not gonna see any take-up by the opposition."

Russian bombers have been supporting a Syrian government offensive on Aleppo, and Moscow is Assad's closest ally.
 
 
 
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