Russian Lawmakers Give Putin OK to Use Troops in Syria

The upper chamber of the Russian parliament has voted unanimously to let President Vladimir Putin send Russian troops to Syria.

The Federation Council on Wednesday discussed Putin's request for the authorization behind the closed doors. Sergei Ivanov, chief of Putin's administration, said in televised remarks that the parliament voted unanimously to approve the request.

Ivanov said the authorization is necessary "not in order to achieve some foreign policy goals" but "in order to defend Russia's national interests."

Putin has to request a parliamentary approval for any use of Russian troops abroad, according to the constitution. The last time he did so was before Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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