The upper house of Russian parliament agreed on Wednesday to give President Vladimir Putin the green light to deploy troops abroad and use air force outside the country.

Putin submitted to the Federation Council a proposal to deploy “a contingent of troops” abroad, the Kremlin said in a statement, without specifying the region.

Federation Council speaker Valentina Matvienko said earlier Wednesday that senators had begun debating the issue behind closed doors. She did not provide further details.

Putin had requested similar permission from the Federation Council to deploy military forces abroad ahead of the annexation of Crimea in March 2014.

On Monday Putin called for a broad UN-backed coalition to fight terrorists of the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) takfiri group as he addressed the UN General Assembly for the first time in a decade.

The Russian president also said he had not ruled out air strikes on ISIL.

Russia’s Syria buildup is Moscow’s first military engagement in a distant theatre of war since the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979.

 

AFP

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