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Medvedev Warns Against Any Foreign Ground Operation In Syria

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says that any ground operation by foreign troops in Syria will lead to "a full-fledged, long war."

Speaking to Euronews TV on February 14, Medvedev criticized U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for saying earlier that foreign troops could enter the conflict if a recently agreed truce in Syria fails.

Commenting on Kerry's words, Medvedev said that "he should not have said that." Medvedev added, "no one is interested in a new war, and a ground operation is a full-fledged, long war."

He also said Kerry should not "try to frighten anyone" with "futile words."

Major powers agreed on February 12 in Munich to a pause in combat in Syria, except for strikes against the Islamic State (IS) extremist group and the Al-Nusra Front, Al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria.

Moscow has said it will continue bombing "terrorist" groups, raising fears it might maintain strikes on Western-backed rebel groups by putting them in that category.

Separately, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has reportedly said that his country and Saudi Arabia may launch ground operations against the IS group in Syria.

"Turkey and Saudi Arabia may launch an operation [against IS] from the land," Turkey's pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper quoted Cavusoglu as saying on February 13.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP