Putin slams presence of US, Turkish troops in Syria -By Albert Aji and Daria Litvinova (The Associated Press) / Sept 14 2021
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the presence of foreign troops in Syria, saying they are there against the will of the Syrian government and are blocking the consolidation of the war-torn country, the Kremlin said Tuesday.
Putin was referring to hundreds of U.S. troops stationed in eastern Syria and working with Kurdish-led fighters in battling the militant Islamic State group, as well as Turkish forces in northern Syria. He said the presence of the foreigners is illegal because they don’t have permission to be there from the United Nations or Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government.
Putin made his comments during a meeting in Moscow on Monday night with his Syrian counterpart Assad, who made a rare foreign trip to Russia. The two discussed cooperation between their armies and ways to continue operations to gain control of the last rebel-held areas in Syria, state media in Damascus reported.
Putin later announced he was going into self-isolation because of coronavirus cases in his inner circle. Assad and his wife tested positive to coronavirus in March, and recovered three weeks later.