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"We think it is an enormous mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian government and its armed forces," Putin said today.
“We should finally acknowledge that no one but President Assad and Kurdish militias is truly fighting Islamic State.”
This was the most public declaration of Russia's support for the Assad regime, which has used chemical weapons against groups of its own people amid the ongoing civil war.
Putin spoke at length about ISIS, saying that the group "is taking dominance in the Islamic world."
"The situation is more than dangerous," he said, later going on to note that "Russia has always been fighting terrorism in all its forms."
He went on to say that Russia will be calling a U.N. Security Council meeting to examine the crisis in the Middle East, starting with ISIS, "to develop a comprehensive strategy for stabilization," arguing that if such a strategy is successful, then "there won’t be a need for new refugee camps."