Putin criticises US on Syria

Tuesday 13 October 2015 14.42
Vladimir Putin said 'some of our partners have mush for brains'
Vladimir Putin said 'some of our partners have mush for brains'

Russian President Vladimir Putin has slammed Washington for refusing to share intelligence on Syria, accusing it of muddled thinking.

"I believe some of our partners simply have mush for brains," Mr Putin said, expressing some of his strongest criticism yet of Washington's handling of the Syrian crisis.

Late last month Moscow launched a bombing campaign in Syria, saying it needed to target Islamic State jihadists before they cross into Russia, which has a large Muslim population.

But Washington and its allies slammed Russia's intervention in the conflict, saying Moscow was also targeting Western-backed moderate rebels and sought to prop up the regime of Syrian Prime Minister Bashar al-Assad.

"Now, we often hear that our pilots are striking the wrong targets, not IS," Putin said at an investment forum in Moscow explaining that Russia had asked Washington to provide a list of targets.

However Washington declined.

"'No, we are not ready for this' was the answer," Putin quoted them as saying.

"Then we thought again and asked another question: then tell us where we should not strike. No answer too," he said, adding: "That is not a joke. I did not make this up."

"How is it possible to work together?" he asked.

"I think some of our partners simply have mush for brains, they do not have a clear understanding of what really happens in the country and what goals they are seeking to achieve," Mr Putin said.

Russia's air force hit 86 "terrorist" targets in Syria in the past 24 hours, the defence ministry said, in the highest one-day tally since it launched its bombing campaign on September 30.

Mr Putin also took issue with a decision by a US-led coalition to parachute in ammunition to rebels in Syria, saying the weapons could end up in the wrong hands.

The US-led coalition fighting Islamic State conducted 11 air strikes in Iraq and three in Syria yesterday, according to the task force organising the operation.