Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has called on the US to start a dialogue on solving the Syrian conflict, Reuters news agency reported.

Russia confirms weapons on flights to Syria

Peskov made the comments on Tuesday when asked whether talks on Syria were possible between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama.

The announcement came after two US officials on Monday accused Russia of positioning about half-a-dozen tanks at an airfield in Latakia, a city at the centre of a Russian military build-up in Syria.

The officials in Washington DC said that the intentions of Russia's latest deployment of heavy military equipment were "unclear".

Putin defends supporting Syrian government

Putin says it's impossible to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group without cooperating with the Syrian government.

Speaking on Tuesday at a meeting of a Moscow-dominated security alliance of ex-Soviet nations in Tajikistan, Putin said that Moscow has provided military assistance to President Bashar al-Assad's government and will continue to do so.

He shrugged off allegations that Moscow's support for Assad has sparked a flow of refugees, saying in a televised statement that without Russia's support for Assad's regime the number of Syrian refugees heading to Europe would have even bigger.

The US says that Russia is in the midst of a steady military buildup at a Syrian airport, indicating Moscow intends to create an air operations base there, although no fighter jets or helicopters have arrived yet.

Source: Agencies