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Russia not sending weapons to PKK/PYD in Syria: Putin

Moscow, however, to maintain working contacts with the group, president says

Russia not sending weapons to PKK/PYD in Syria: Putin FILE PHOTO- Russian President Vladimir Putin

By Hakan Ceyhan Aydogan


Although Russia does not supply weapons to the PKK/PYD in Syria, it will "maintain working contacts" with the group, President Vladimir Putin said Monday.

"We do not supply weapons to them and they do not particularly need our supply. They have other sources for obtaining these weapons," Putin said at a news conference in China's capital Beijing following the Belt and Road international economic forum.

Putin said Russia, however, would maintain working contacts with the group as they fighted against Daesh.

"We think that we have the right to maintain working contacts with them, at least in order to avoid clashes," he said, adding he believed there was no cause for concern for Turkey.

Turkey considers the PYD and its armed wing, the YPG, to be the Syrian offshoots of the PKK, a banned terrorist organization in the U.S., Turkey, and the EU. However, Washington has pushed back, calling the groups "partners" in the fight against Daesh in northern Syria.

 De-escalation zones in Syria

Putin said the goal of having "de-escalation zones" in Syria was to "strengthen" the cease-fire regime.

He hoped the zones would be an "effective" tool for preserving the truce: "Without a cease-fire, there is no question of any effective political process."

Russia, Turkey and Iran signed an agreement on May 5 in the Kazakh capital, Astana, over establishing “de-escalation zones” in war-torn Syria.

The zones will cover the city of Idlib and certain parts of Latakia, Homs, Aleppo and Hama as well as Damascus, Eastern Ghouta, Daraa and Quneitra.

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