Russia can ramp up military presence in Syria if needed: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech at a ceremony to present state awards to personnel who took part in military action in Syria at the Kremlin on March 17, 2016President Vladimir Putin on Thursday warned Russia could ramp up its military presence in Syria within “several hours” if needed, as he urged all sides of the conflict to respect a ceasefire. Putin spoke during a ceremony in the Kremlin’s sumptuous St George’s Hall to bestow awards on servicemen who fought in Syria, with the military’s top brass among some 700 personnel from the armed forces in attendance. On Monday, Putin ordered the surprise withdrawal of most of armed forces from Syria, saying Moscow’s task had been “on the whole” completed.

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