Sergei Lavrov said Russia will continue delivering military equipment to Syria to provide it with the needed defense capabilities.photo Sputnik/ Dmitriy Vinogradov
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia will continue delivering military equipment to Syria to provide it with the needed defense capabilities, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.
"I can say yet again that our military personnel is there to service Russian equipment, to help the Syrian army use this equipment… And we will continue to deliver this equipment to the Syrian government to ensure it has the needed defense capabilities to confront the terrorist threat," Lavrov told reporters.
The minister underlined that Russia is not supporting Syrian president Bashar Assad, but rather Damascus' fight against the Islamic State. He also called on participants of the international coalition against the extremist group to cooperate with the Syrian army.
"It is necessary, of course, to interact with the ground forces, and the most efficient and powerful ground force fighting the Islamic State is the Syrian army. But coordination is needed to prevent various incidents as well," Lavrov said.
Syria has been mired in a civil war since 2011, as government forces loyal to Assad fight several opposition and radical Islamist militant groups, including the Nusra Front and Islamic State (ISIL).
Since the beginning of the Syria civil war, the United States and some of its allies have supported the moderate Syrian opposition while calling for Assad's resignation, while Russia recognized Assad as the only legitimate Syrian authority.
Russia has been providing Syria with humanitarian aid and military equipment.
On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that Russia had been providing aid to the Syrian army because it believed this was the only force capable of confronting the Islamic State jihadist group in the country.
On that same day, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Russia have been carrying out weapons deliveries to Syria according legitimate contracts that did not violate international laws.