Syrian Government Blasts Saudi Attempts to Undermine Ceasefire
22:33 29.02.2016(updated 22:42 29.02.2016)
Damascus condemns Saudi Arabia's Plan B as a delusion designed to 'boost morale of terrorists.'
On Monday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry blasted remarks by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir as an attempt to undermine the recently enacted cessation of hostilities agreement.
'What Adel al-Jubeir says about a Plan B regarding the current developments in Syria is merely a delusion in the mind of the Saudi regime,' the Syrian Foreign Ministry said in the statement. 'Jubeir's statements are an attempt to thwart the cessation of combat operations.'
The Syrian government warned of Riyadh's 'destructive role' in the country, questioning their commitment to combat Daesh and other Islamic fundamentalist terror organizations. Jubeir's comments are a 'lie meant to boost the morale of militants,' retorted the statement.
Saudi Arabia is recognized as the primary financial supporter of militants fighting against Syrian governmental forces, with conflicting reports on whether these militants are associated with Daesh or other terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and with differing opinions as to the implications of this support on the battle to degrade Daesh.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry along with Russian officials have repeatedly charged Saudi Arabia, along with Turkey and Qatar, with funding, arming, and providing material support to terrorist groups within the country, including Daesh.
The US government nonetheless maintains that Saudi, Turkey, and Qatar are allies in the fight against Daesh, and have called for the transition of the Assad regime as a necessary predicate for stabilizing the internal politics in Syria to better contain the spread of Daesh.
On Sunday, only hours after the ceasefire went into effect, Riyadh declared that they will 'consider an alternate plan if it becomes clear that Syria and Russia are not serious about the ceasefire.' Russian officials responded fiercely saying that 'a Syria plan B is totally out of the question.'
The ceasefire, negotiated between Russian and US leaders, took effect on midnight Saturday. The Syrian government accepted the terms of the truce, which provided that the military effort against Daesh and the al-Nusra Front Takfiri militants would continue unabated.
In a related statement, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said that Syria 'reserves the right to respond to any breach by these groups (Daesh or al-Nusra) against Syrian citizens or against its armed forces.'
Saturday's ceasefire agreement inspired hope that the five-year civil war in Syria would soon come to a close. The conflict in Syria, which began in March 2011, has claimed the lives of 470,000, left over 1.9 million injured, and have displaced over 13.5 million Syrians or roughly 60% of the country's entire population, according to the Syrian Center for Policy Research.
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