Russian President Vladimir Putin ruled out on Sunday the possibility of sending Russian troops for ground operations in Russia's ongoing military intervention in the war-torn Syria.
"This is out of the question," Putin was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency as saying in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel.
He said Russia is not going to do this no matter what happens, and "our Syrian friends know about it."
In response to allegations from Western countries and media that the Russian air campaign in Syria has not targeted the Islamic State (IS) and has led to civilian casualties, the Russian leader retorted that Russia conducted enough reconnaissance before launching the counter-terror attacks.
"We have continuously carried out aerial and space reconnaissance, comparing the data we obtained from different sources," he said.
He added that Moscow notified the United States and other partners of its intentions and plans in Syira beforehand.
Russian Air Force carried out 64 sorties in Syria from Saturday to Sunday, destroying a total of 63 IS targets, including the field headquarters of the terrorist group near the northwestern Syrian village of Slama, the Russian Defense Ministry said Sunday.
On Sept. 30, Russia started airstrikes against positions of the IS in Syria, a move that has been criticized by the U.S. to be mainly aiming at striking Syria's anti-government rebels.
While claiming the airstrikes have significantly diminished the military capacity of the IS, Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that "constructive" discussions were conducted Saturday during the second video conference with the U.S. on implementation of specific procedures to ensure safe air operations over Syria.