Russia considers the US-led coalition actions against pro-government forces in Syria an act of aggression and rejects the justification for the Tuesday attack issued by the Pentagon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.
“Of course, this is an aggressive act, which violates the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and which voluntarily or involuntarily targeted those forces that represent the most effective forces struggling with terrorists on the ground. This causes our concern,” the Russian state-run news agency quoted Lavrov as saying. “There was information and I believe that it was close to reality that these pro-government forces were advancing to the relevant area to prevent the destruction of two bridges linking Syria with Iraq.“
The Pentagon justified the attack on government forces saying that they were advancing inside some kind of de-confliction zone.
Lavrov rejected this claim.
“I don’t know anything about such zones. This must be some territory, which the coalition unilaterally declared [de-confliction zone] and where it probably believes to have a sole right to take action. We cannot recognize such zones,” the minister said.
Earlier this year, Russia, Turkey and Iran signed a deal to establish de-confliction zones in several parts of Syria. This effort was coordinated with the Syrian government. However, no de-confliction zone was establsihed in the area claimed by the US.