Putin says Russia supplying weapons, air support to Syrian rebels

President Vladimir Putin says that Russian military action in Syria is aimed at protecting Russia from extremists based there.

He said Friday at a meeting with the top military brass that the extremists pose a "clear threat" to Russia.

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He said fending off that threat is the main goal of the air campaign Russia launched on Sept. 30.

Putin said the Russian military action helped change the situation in Syria, supporting the Syrian army offensive. He said that Russia was also helping some units of the opposition Free Syrian Army, which were fighting "terrorists" in Syria, providing air cover and supplying them with weapons.



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