Russian aircraft flying into Syria are delivering military supplies and humanitarian aid, according to Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.
This comes amid concerns from the US and Nato that Russia is increasing its military presence at a Syrian airfield.
Russia has backed Syrian President Bashar Assad throughout the country’s four-and-a-half-year civil war, providing weapons and military experts to train Syria’s army.
Mr Lavrov confirmed that Russia has military personnel in Syria but said nothing about reported deployments of additional troops.
Asked about Russian planes flying to the airfield near the Syrian city of Latakia, Lavrov said they were carrying “military goods in accordance with existing contracts and humanitarian aid”.
President Vladimir Putin has not ruled out a bigger role in Syria. Asked last week if Russia could deploy its troops to Syria to help fight the Islamic State group, he said Russia was ``looking at various options''.
Mr Putin is expected to focus on the situation in Syria when he addresses the United Nations General Assembly at the end of the month.