Russia accuses US of trying to divide Syria

Russian Foreign Minister has accused the United States of trying to divide Syria

Russia accuses US of trying to divide Syria

Syria ethnic/religious map

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the United States of trying to create a “quasi-state” in Syria that may undermine the country’s territorial integrity.

“In my opinion the Americans, instead of diligently building a common agreement, are trying to take dangerous, unilateral steps,” Lavrov said on 13 February, according to Russian state news agency TASS

“These steps increasingly look like as part of a course to build some quasi-state on a large part of Syria’s territory, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River up to the Iraqi border,” he added.

“This increasingly looks like a course to undermine the territorial integrity of Syria. Autonomous local bodies of government, independent from Damascus, are being created on this territory.

“Financial resources are provided for the functioning of these bodies of government. The law enforcement structures being created there are being provided with weapons.

“We have asked these questions more than once, but we do not get any clear answers except for the general slogan ‘Do not worry, we support the territorial integrity of Syria’.

“But in reality everything looks different,” Lavrov said, and called on the US to “take full account of the need to stop any steps by external players that undermine the principles of settlement as enshrined in [UN] Resolution 2254.”

Source: TASS news agency, Moscow, in Russian, February 13, 2018
© 2018 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Russian diplomat: US trying to build ‘new Syrian army’ with Kurds

Moscow (dpa) – The United States is attempting to build “a new Syrian army” comprising Kurdish fighters and former Islamic State and al-Nusra militants, the Russian ambassador to Syria said on Saturday.

The US wants to divide Syria and increase its own military presence in the country, added Alexander Kinshchak, in comments carried by the TASS news agency.

Kinshchak also accused opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of using the terrorist group Jabhat Al-Nusra as a means of exerting pressure on Damascus.

Kinshchak was using the previous name of the group now called Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, which has been a major force against al-Assad in Syria’s multi-sided and bloody civil war, now in its seventh year.

His statements could not be independently verified.

Russia is the main military backer of the Syrian government, and Russian military planes have operated in support of government troops since 2015. In late 2017, Moscow announced that it would reduce its forces in the war-torn country.

Source: dpa International Service, February 10, 2018
© Copyright 2018. dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur

US Denies Accusation Washington Plans to Divide Syria – State Dept.

WASHINGTON, February 8 (Sputnik) – The United States has deployed troops to Syria for the sole purpose of defeating the Islamic State terror group (banned in Russia) and not for any other reason, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said during a press briefing on Thursday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday said Washington appeared to be pursing the goal of dividing Syria. He added that Russian officials were aware of the existence of plans to partition the country and would press their US counterparts to make clear their position on the matter.

“The United States is there to defeat ISIS [Islamic State], for no other purpose,” Nauert told reporters when asked for a response to Lavrov’s assertions.

“We are there also to stabilize the country,” the spokesperson added.

Nauert said the United States remained committed to the unity of Syria, adding that Washington has made its position on the issue clear since the start of the conflict.

Source: Sputnik News Service, February 08, 2018
© 2018. Sputnik. All Rights Reserved.

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