Putin Aims A Weaponized Barb at Trump Over Saudi Attack – And Hits the Mark (excerpt)
(Source: France24; posted Sept. 17, 2019)
By Leela Jacinto
Russian President Vladimir Putin joked this week about selling defense systems to Riyadh following weekend attacks on Saudi oil facilities. The gag was aimed at US President Donald Trump and it hit the mark with the precision of a guided weapon.

It was a masterful piece of trolling by the czar of trolls – a snide, disparaging jibe with an element of truth twisted into absurdity for maximum effect and laughs. At a joint press conference with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts in Ankara on Monday, Putin cast his bait into the volatile Persian Gulf region just days after devastating attacks on Saudi oil facilities exposed the limits of the Gulf kingdom’s expensive defense systems.

“We’re ready to help Saudi Arabia to protect their people,” said Putin, flanked by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani. Ensconced in a front-row seat, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s jovial foreign minister, grinned expectantly, waiting for a weaponised Russian joke.

Zarif was not to be disappointed.

Referring to the Saudis, Putin continued: “And they need to make a clever decision, as Iran did by buying our S-300, and as Mr. Erdogan did by deciding to buy the most advanced S-400 Triumph air defense systems from Russia,” he added with a smirk.

“These kinds of systems are capable of defending any kind of infrastructure in Saudi Arabia from any kind of attack,” finished Putin, as Rouhani convulsed with giggles and even the normally dour Erdogan broke into a smile.

As a ripple of laughter erupted across the room, Rouhani jokingly asked Putin which system would he recommend, the S-300 or the S-400? “They can choose,” he replied.

Putin’s barb was aimed at multiple targets, including the failure of the US security shield, President Donald Trump’s policies in the region and Washington’s reputation as an undependable ally. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the France24 website.


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