Iran, Turkey and Russia do have no plans to carry out joint military operations in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Vietnam’s national broadcaster Vietnam Television, China’s CCTV and Phoenix TV.
“We don’t plan to carry out any military operations in Syria that would involve Russia, Turkey and Iran,” the foreign minister said. “Russia and Iran are active in Syria at the invitation of the country’s legitimate government. Turkey has been citing its security concerns, but the Syrian government opposes the Turkish military presence.”
Lavrov pointed out that the Damascus support to the Astana process made possible “to ensure a true ceasefire in most of Syria and launch direct dialogue between the government and the armed opposition.”
“They [Western countries] relied on opposition members who left Syria long ago and live abroad, either in the Persian Gulf states or in Europe,” Lavrov said. “However, it was the Astana process that turned the tide, bringing those at war with each other to the negotiating table.”
“This is the most important thing because at the end of the day it is these people – the Syrian military and armed opposition members – that developments on the ground depend on,” he added.
Lavrov revealed that Moscow and Ankara have not yet come to an understanding as to which Kurdish units active in Syria should be designated as terrorist.
“We don’t see eye to eye on which of the Kurdish units should be designated as terrorist. Turkey has a special position,” he noted. “We understand its concerns but there is a need to separate the wheat from the chaff and figure out which Kurdish units are extremist and pose a threat to Turkey.”
The top diplomat added that “some issues remain in Idlib” where the opposition and terrorist groups have not been separated yet.
“A ceasefire is holding in most of Syria,” Lavrov said. “Some issues remain in Idlib, where there is a need to separate armed opposition units from terrorists, as well as in the country’s northeast, where the US has created a lot of problems, as it relied on the Kurds and encouraged them to move to areas populated by Arabs, which angered the Arab population and caused causing concern to Turkey.”
“Perhaps, Washington did plan to create that many problems and take control of the process afterwards, just like it loves to do.”
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Why There Will Be No Full US Troop Withdrawal From Syria
- Why S-300 In Syria Not Being Used Against Israeli Aircraft