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CSTO Ready, But Not Yet Willing, To Send Troops to Syria

Troops from Collective Security Treaty Organization take part in exercises in Tajikistan in November 2017. The organization failed to come to any decision on deploying troops to Syria at its recent summit. (photo: Ministry of Defense, Kazakhstan)

Leaders of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Russia-led security bloc, have gathered but remained mute on the most closely watched item on the group's agenda: sending peacekeepers to Syria.

Discussions on deploying troops from Russia's CSTO allies -- Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan -- to Syria has gained momentum over the past year.

Russia has long sought a greater CSTO involvement in Syria. "Sending [CSTO peacekeepers] to Syria could, in Moscow's view, substantially strengthen the international authority of the CSTO and guarantee Russia's interests in the Syrian ceasefire," wrote Russian newspaper Kommersant. 

And following a series of CSTO peacekeeping exercises over this fall in Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan, the organization's chief of military staff, speaking at the November 30 summit in Minsk, said that they were ready for a Syria deployment.

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CSTO Ready, But Not Yet Willing, To Send Troops to Syria

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