Turkey not behind attack on Russian bases in Syria: Putin
MOSCOW – Anadolu Agency
On Jan. 8, Russia averted an attack by 13 drones on its Syrian installations, 10 attacking its Khmeimim Air Base and three of them on the Tartus naval base, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry.
The attacks in Syria were provocations aimed at undermining Russia’s relations with its partners, including Turkey, Putin told reporters in Moscow, according to Russia’s Sputnik news agency.
“There were some provocateurs, but they were not Turks,” Putin was quoted as saying by Russia’s official news agency TASS.
“We know who they are, who paid who for this provocation, and what the actual sum was,” he said.
On Dec. 11, 2017, Putin ordered the start of a withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria, adding that the Tartus and Khmeimim bases would still be in use.
Putin also said that he and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had spoken on the phone about the incident.
During the conversation, Erdoğan had told Putin that ceasing a regime attack on civilians in Eastern Ghouta and Idlib, Syria is key for the success of the Astana peace process and an upcoming Syria conference in Sochi, Russia, according to presidential sources.
They also discussed the ongoing Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant and Turkish Stream projects, as well as other aspects of energy sector cooperation.
The two leaders also voiced their resolve to further improve bilateral ties in every area.