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Iran Press TV

US encouraging separatism in Syria, hindering restoration of its unity: Russia FM

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 05 December 2020 8:13 AM

Russia has censured the illegal presence of US troops in Syria and said the deployment of the American forces there is meant to hinder the restoration of unity in the Arab country.

The US is also openly encouraging separatism in Syria by keeping its troops there, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov via a video link at the Rome 2020 Mediterranean Dialogues on Friday.

Lavrov called for the involvement of the international community in resolving the humanitarian crisis in Syria and said it was possible to "break the back" of terrorism mostly thanks to Russia's decisive assistance to the Syrian government.

"The tasks of providing decent life conditions for millions of Syrians, who have survived that devastating war, are coming to the fore. It requires the participation of the entire world community," the top Russian diplomat said.

"We have to state with regret that in response to constructive shifts in political settlement, Damascus receives illegal presence of US forces on its territory, which is overtly used for encouraging separatism and for hindering the restoration of the country's unity," Lavrov added.

He called for adherence to international law and said the entire regional conflicts, including the one in Syria, should be resolved through "inclusive national dialog" and away from external interference.

Washington has refused to withdraw US forces from Syria and openly backs anti-Damascus Kurdish militants in the north and east of the country.

Since late October 2019, the United States has been redeploying troops to the oil fields controlled by Kurdish forces in eastern Syria, in a reversal of President Donald Trump's earlier order to withdraw all troops from the Arab country.

The Pentagon claims the move aims to "protect" the fields and facilities from possible attacks by the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.

The presence of US forces in eastern Syria has particularly irked the civilians, and local residents have on several occasions stopped American military convoys entering the region.

Syria, which has not authorized the presence of the US military in its territory, has on several occasions said Washington is "plundering" the country's oil.

'West shows double standards with anti-Syria sanctions'

In his video speech, the Russian foreign minister also lambasted new US and European sanctions against Syria over baseless allegations of Damascus' use of chemical weapons and war crimes.

"The West demonstrates double standards denying help to Syria, even when humanitarian issues are raised," he underlined. "Amid the pandemic, the West sticks to its policy of economic strangling of Syria."

The United States recently imposed a round of sanctions against Syria known as the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act.

The sanctions came into effect on June 17 -- six months after being signed into law by Trump -- targeting individuals and businesses anywhere in the world that operate directly or indirectly within the sphere of Syria's economy. This includes entities that help the Arab country produce oil or fight terrorism in any way.

The US economic measures have effectively blocked imports of essential goods, impacting the Syrian people's access to medical equipment, food, fuel, natural gas, and electricity.

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