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A general view of a neighborhood in the Syrian capital Damascus

The upper chamber of the Russian parliament has unanimously given a formal consent to President Putin to use the nation’s military in Syria to fight terrorism at a request from the Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Consent was necessary for use of the country’s military for foreign combat missions under the Russian constitution.

The request for use of force was sent by the president after considering the large number of citizens of Russia and neighboring countries, who went to join terrorist groups fighting in Syria, head of the presidential administration Sergey Ivanov told media. There are thousands of them, and Russia’s national security would be under threat, should they return home, he added.

“This is not about reaching for some foreign policy goals, satisfying ambitions, which our Western partners regularly accuse us of. It’s only about the national interest of the Russian Federation,”the official said.

Ivanov stressed that no ground operations are planned in Syria. Russia would use its warplanes to hit terrorist targets when requested by the Syrian government. He stressed that unlike the US-led coalition of countries that bombs militant troops in Syria, Russia was invited to do so by the legal authorities of Syria and thus follows international law. (Russia Today)