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Russia's foray into Syria draws concerns from Saudis

Sunday, October 11, 2015 - 01:32

During a bilateral meeting in Moscow, Saudi officials are expressing concern over Russia's decision to launch air strikes in Syria. Nathan Frandino reports.

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With Russia flying more than 60 missions over Syria in the past 24 hours, Moscow's scope in the conflict grows each day. That growth comes with increasing unease in the region, especially from Saudi Arabia, a regional foe of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. A Saudi delegation met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday to express their concerns. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SAUDI ARABIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, ADEL AL-JUBEIR, SAYING (ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL TRANSLATION): "As for military operations held by Russia on the territory of Syria, we have expressed some concerns that this operation can be seen as a union between Iran and the Russian Federation. But during the talks our Russian friends explained to us that the main goal is fighting the Islamic State and terrorism." Russia and Saudi foe Iran both support Assad while the Saudis have long demanded Assad's removal from power. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says above all Russia wants national unity in Syria to prevail. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SERGEI LAVROV, SAYING: "So that a political process happens as soon as possible that would in the end lead to all Syrians - no matter their ethnicity or confession - to feel like hosts of their own country." With Russia's bombing campaign, Syrian forces appear to be advancing in the country, shifting the balance of power in the civil war for the foreseeable future.

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Russia's foray into Syria draws concerns from Saudis

Sunday, October 11, 2015 - 01:32