Kremlin Security Czar Rejects Russian Air Strike Allegations

Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia’s presidential Security Council, said Thursday that the Russian military action actually helped “normalize the situation” in Syria.

In remarks carried by Russian news agencies, Patrushev angrily argued that “it wasn’t us who provoked the regimes’ change in the Middle East and North Africa.” He added that “we have nothing to do with the conflicts and wars which erupted there.”

Russia’s air campaign has helped the Syrian army make a series of gains in recent months. President Vladimir Putin has ordered a partial drawdown of Russian warplanes, but said Russia will continue to fight the Islamic State group and the al-Qaida linked Nusra Front.