Putin, ahead of Obama meeting, calls U.S. support for Syrian rebels illegal

Putin, ahead of Obama meeting, calls U.S. support for Syrian rebels illegal

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday branded US support for rebel forces in Syria as illegal and ineffective, saying US-trained rebels were leaving to join Islamic State with weapons supplied by Washington.

In an interview with US networks recorded ahead of a meeting with US President Barack Obama, Putin said Syrian President Bashar Assad deserved international support as he was fighting terrorist organizations.

Obama and Putin are scheduled to talk on Monday after Putin addresses the United Nations, although White House and Kremlin officials have disagreed on what the two leaders will discuss and even who initiated the meeting.

“In my opinion, provision of military support to illegal structures runs counter to the principles of modern international law and the United Nations Charter,” he said in an excerpt of an interview with US television networks CBS and PBS released by the Kremlin.

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