Lavrov: Russia And US Have No Plans To Cooperate In Syria’s Idlib Governorate

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Lavrov: Russia And US Have No Plans To Cooperate In Syria’s Idlib Governorate

© Alexandr Sherbak/TASS

On December 8, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters that Russia and the US have no plans to cooperate in Syria’s Idlib governorate, according to the Russian state-run news agency TASS .

“There are no plans with the United States on this specific region of Syria [Idlib governorate]. I believe that’s totally counterproductive,” Lavrov said during the news conference that followed the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Vienna.

However, the foreign minister stressed that Russia, Iran, Turkey and Syria are now working to established a de-escalation zone in Idlib governorate, although that the situation there is “complex”.

“The situation in Idlib continues to be complex, and we are working, above all, with our Turkish, Iranian and Syrian counterparts to launch the de-escalation zone in that part of the Syrian Arab Republic as effectively as possible,” Lavrov said.

Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to establish a de-escalation zone in Idlib governorate during Astana talks on September 13. Since then both the Russian and Turkish Army established several observation posts in the northern and southern Idlib countryside.

However, the al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and many groups of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in northern Syria including some backed by the US didn’t respect the agreement. Dozens of attacks led mainly by HTS had been conducted from Idlib governorate against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in Hama, Aleppo and Lattakia governorates since then.

On the other side the US does not appear to be too interested in countering the growing influence of radical Islamic groups like HTS in northern Syria. After conducting dozens of airstrikes against these groups between 2014 and 2016, the US-led coalition conducted very few airstrikes against al-Qaeda in northern Syria in 2017.

The last verified US-led coalition airstrike in northern Syria targeted a mosque in the village of al-Jinah in the western Aleppo countryside on March 16, 2017. While the US-led coalition claimed that the airstrike targeted a meeting of al-Qaeda leaders, Syrian oppositions sources reported that over 45 civilians were killed in the airstrike.

Many Syrian pro-government activists believe that the US-led coalition will resume its limited aerial operations against al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in northern Syria after ISIS defeat, as a way to justify the deployment of the US troops in Syria.

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  • Serious

    As usual, Sunnis will have nothing and will be the losers.

    • John Ballantine

      Yup, death to all SalafiTerrorists in Syria…

    • Christopher Simpson

      Asma al Assad is Sunni – so what’s the problem? Why should Sunnis end up with nothing? I believe many Sunnis fight in the SAA. Syria is a religiously plural state. Here’s to a renaissance of arab modernism and cosmopolitan pluralism all around the mediterranean, the grand ordained arc of Arabian culture.

      • Serious

        I mean those sunnis who are fighting like ISIS, HTS, al qaeda, They still fight but they have always …. nothing but murders and dead. I don’t understand why they are doing this. It’s so stupid to be butchered by everyone without any goal.

        • Joe

          Yes they are crazy in your eyes but think they are joining their maker with lots of rewards.

          The last man prefers to be suicide bombers than surrender.

          Very uneducated lot . Too much religion in their heads

        • Brother Ma

          They have a goal all right! Form a caliphate and steal property and women of all” non caliphate types” including christians!

          • Serious

            They have no goal. Obviously, they don’t see that they are always loosing ???

      • Mortal

        Add peace, and now as a Greek I can say that I approve this message!

      • Who knows? Maybe a result of all this mayhem and destruction will be a Renaissance of Arab culture having Damascus as its center.

    • Joe

      Syrians are the winners and that include sunnis .

  • SFC Steven M Barry USA RET

    When will Russia wake up and finally understand that the US cannot be trusted about anything?

    • Mortal

      The only way to lower US status quo is by subsequent diplomatic defeats. They are too arrogant right now, and really dangerous to the whole world. You can’t not pay attention to them, they live from it! They were already excluded by Putin’s meetings with Iran and Turkey, nor with Assad, of course. It is becoming pretty much common knowledge that Russia saved Syria.The Chinese also start casting a bigger shadow in the area already. Trump’s Jerusalem thing can be interpreted many ways, but I believe it is much like making an absurd move just in order to remind everyone you still matter in M.E., so let’s start a new war… the only thing they are truly good at. I don’t think the US people can wake up early soon enough and take the power back. But I understand how those who oppose US hegemony play a game of patience. Even Iran in relatively calm despite recent events…

      • Joe

        I don’t think US dare to start a new war in Syria not do there have the needed force to do so. They are alone in the middle of their enemies once terrorists are gone as the Kurds will negotiate and join Syria as Syrians .

        If Russia covers the SAA , U S cannot do anything and be looked like clowns in the eyes of the world.

        Now you know why Putin has helped the Kurds in bombing ISIS

  • gustavo

    Please, stop pseudo-cooperation with USA. Just stop yourself Russia ! Stop !

  • Emmanuel Moyana

    Thats too bad. These two powers should pool resources together and defeat Isis. Problem is, the United States has different priorities and history has shown that those priorities are not good for the middle east.

  • Langaniso Mhlobo

    Not all Sunnis are terrorist but all terrorist are Sunnis.

    • Sadde

      I understand what you want to say but after some reflection, you will notice that your statement is not true. Firstly, the definition of terrorism is not uniform (besides being arbitrarily applied). Secondly, all terrorists are not even Muslims. I would even argue that irrespective of what definition you choose, the majority of terrorist acts (especially with regard to the amount of its victims) are performed by non-Muslims and primarily in the form of state terrorism.