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Russia closely watching Syria situation: military official


13:58, February 10, 2012

MOSCOW, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Russia's military leadership has been closely watching the situation in and around Syria, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Thursday.

He told Rossiya 24 television channel that the situation was worsening and Russia "can't remain indifferent".

Antonov noted that Russia and Syria have close military- technical ties, and Russian specialists have been deployed at various military sites in that region.

"I think the region is quite promising from the point of view of military cooperation," he was quoted as saying.

He reiterated Russia will do its best to avoid military intervention in Syria.

"We give backup to our colleagues from the Foreign Ministry who are tackling the problems (about Syrian situation)," he said.

"Given the restive and turbulent situation in the Middle East, the Russian leadership weighs up every concrete step," Antonov added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should be decided by Syrians themselves.


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