Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian military to take “extremely tough” action against any threat to its forces in Syria.
“I order to act extremely tough. Any targets that threaten Russian forces or our infrastructure on the ground should be immediately destroyed,” the Russian strongman told a session of the Defense Ministry officials in televised comments.
Putin also warned against “those who will again try to organize any provocations against our servicemen”.
“We have already taken additional measures to ensure security of Russian servicemen and air base. It was strengthened by new aviation groups and missile defense systems. Strike aircraft will now carry out operations under cover of fighter jets,” Putin said during the meeting of the most senior defense officials.
Putin did not elaborate on specific threats but Turkey and Russia are currently locked in a dispute over the downing of a Russian jet by Ankara.
On November 24, Turkey shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M jet inside Syria, claiming that the aircraft violated the Turkish airspace. Russia rejects Turkey’s claim. The aircraft was on a mission targeting terrorists in Syria.
Meanwhile during his meeting with defense officials, Putin said that the Russian military have caused a substantial damage to terrorists in Syria, adding that the actions of the Russian Armed Forces are worthy of praise.
“The combined operation of the Aerospace Defense Forces and the Navy, the use of newest high precision weapons systems has caused a serious damage to the terrorist infrastructure, thus qualitatively changing the situation in Syria,” the Russian leader said.