Russian legislators approve forces for Syria

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin has received the right to deploy armed forces in Syria, two days after the Russian leader discussed ways to co-operate on fighting Islamic State and other terrorist groups in the Middle Eastern country with his US counterpart, Barack Obama.

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Vladimir Putin. Picture: REUTERS/ALEKSEY NIKOLSKY

Vladimir Putin. Picture: REUTERS

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Legislators in the upper house of parliament unanimously approved Putin’s request to deploy troops in Syria, Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said on Wednesday in comments broadcast on state television.

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Russia would send only air forces, not ground troops, and the mission would be for a limited period of time, Mr Ivanov said.

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In recent weeks, Russia has deployed more than two dozen fighter aircraft and troops to an air base in Syria, according to US officials.

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Mr Putin’s administration drafted a request last month for the senate to approve the deployment of 2,000 air personnel to Syria though it didn’t submit it immediately, according to two people familiar with the matter. – Bloomberg

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