Russia says willing to deploy Syrian volunteers in Ukraine invasion
Madrid Desk, Mar 11 (EFE).- Russia is willing to deploy volunteer fighters from the Middle East in its invasion of Ukraine, president Vladimir Putin said Friday.
Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu told Putin during a security council meeting that there were 16,000 people in Middle Eastern countries willing to help in operations in the Donbas, home to the Moscow-backed breakaway territories of Donetsk and Luhansk.
According to Russia news agency TASS, Shoigu added: “We know many of them, they helped us fight against the Islamic State during the most difficult moments in the last 10 years.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was cited by Sputnik news agency as saying the majority of the volunteers were from the Middle East, particularly Syria.
The Russian military helped turn the tide of the Syrian Civil War in favor of president Bashar Al Assad, one of Putin’s closest allies.
Assad is one of few leaders who has openly backed Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
During the security meeting, Putin said that Western nations had sent mercenaries into Ukraine, TASS reported. EFE