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Putin’s chilling warning to the West: Syria campaign was PERFECT training for war

VLADIMIR Putin has issued a thinly-veiled threat to the West, warning his military campaign in Syria has prepared Russia’s armed forces for all-out war.


In a speech hailing the perceived successes of Moscow’s bombing raids in Syria, the Russian president said he could build up the country’s presence in the country within hours if needed.

He said the five-and-a-half-month campaign, which activists say has claimed thousands of civilians lives, demonstrated Russia’s military might.

Daily sorties of Russian fighter jets cost the country 33 billion roubles (£336million).

But Putin insisted the costly operation had been a price worth paying to bolster President Bashar al-Assad and Russia’s influence in the region.

Thanking the armed forces for their service, he declared that the operation had provided better training for a future war than any war games on home soil could.

Russia will continue to support the Syrian government in the fight against Islamic State and other extremist group, including the equally dangerous al-Nusra Front.

To help in that aim, Putin said he was leaving behind the S-400 air defence missile system that is equipped to bring down a commercial or fighter plane.

Speaking in the Kremlin at a medal ceremony for military personnel who served in Syria, Putin also sought to dampen any talk of a rift with Damascus, saying Moscow’s partial withdrawal from Syria had been agreed with Assad.

He said: “If necessary, literally within a few hours, Russia can build up its contingent in the region to a size proportionate to the


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