Europe

Putin says militants in Aleppo use civilians as shields

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking at the 8th annual VTB Capital "Russia Calling!" Investment Forum in in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016.Russia’s economy has been on its way down since it slipped into recession at the start of last year. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking at the 8th annual VTB Capital "Russia Calling!" Investment Forum in in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016.Russia‚Äôs economy has been on its way down since it slipped into recession at the start of last year. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, meets with French TF1 television correspondents during his visit to the city of Kovrov, some 250 km (about 156 miles) northeast of Moscow, Russia. President Vladimir Putin says Russia is fighting the al-Qaida-linked militants in Aleppo, who are using civilians in Aleppo as human shields. (Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

    In this photo taken Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, meets with French TF1 television correspondents during his visit to the city of Kovrov, some 250 km (about 156 miles) northeast of Moscow, Russia. President Vladimir Putin says Russia is fighting the al-Qaida-linked militants in Aleppo, who are using civilians in Aleppo as human shields. (Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, meets with French TF1 television correspondents during his visit to the city of Kovrov, some 250 km (about 156 miles) northeast of Moscow, Russia. President Vladimir Putin says Russia is fighting the al-Qaida-linked militants in Aleppo, who are using civilians in Aleppo as human shields. (Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

    In this photo taken Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, meets with French TF1 television correspondents during his visit to the city of Kovrov, some 250 km (about 156 miles) northeast of Moscow, Russia. President Vladimir Putin says Russia is fighting the al-Qaida-linked militants in Aleppo, who are using civilians in Aleppo as human shields. (Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

President Vladimir Putin says Russia is fighting al-Qaida-linked militants in Syria who are using civilians as human shields in the city of Aleppo.

Putin, speaking to French TF1 television, also said in remarks aired Wednesday that Moscow is ready to work with the next U.S. president, but added that "it's easier to work with those who want to work with us."

"If (Donald) Trump says 'I want to work with Russia,' we can only welcome that," he added.

Turning to Aleppo, where Russian warplanes are backing the Syrian army, Putin said, "We can't allow terrorists to use people as human shields and blackmail the entire world."

He criticized the U.S. for failing to combat the al-Qaida offshoot in Syria, which this summer renamed itself Jabhat Fatah al-Sham.