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SEPTEMBER 2020

US Continues To Stoke Separatism On Euphrates’ East Bank In Syria – Lavrov

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US Continues To Stoke Separatism On Euphrates’ East Bank In Syria - Lavrov

IMAGE: Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS

TASS reports (source):

The United States is backing Kurdish separatism on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River in Syria in spite of demands to respect territorial integrity of the country enshrined in UN Security Council resolutions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday following talks with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“We talked about the situation unfolding in Idlib and the Euphrates’ east bank where our US colleagues continue stoking separatist sentiments breaching demands of the UN Security Council to respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic,” Lavrov emphasized.

On October 9, Turkey launched a military incursion into northern Syria, codenaming it Operation Peace Spring, with the Turkish Armed Forces and the Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army carrying it out. The Turkish government claimed that its goal was to clear the border area of what it calls ‘terrorists’ (Ankara’s broad label of the Kurdish forces) and establish a 30 km-long buffer zone in Syria’s north, where over 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey would resettle. Damascus slammed the operation as aggression, and the international community condemned Ankara’s move.

On October 17, the United States, represented by Vice President Mike Pence, reached a deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to pause Operation Peace Spring. Turkey consented to a 120-hour ceasefire so that Kurdish units making up the coalition of the Syrian Democratic Forces could leave the areas of the border security zone that Ankara is attempting to create.

On October 22, Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey signed a memorandum on joint actions to resolve the situation in northeastern Syria. Russian military police units and Syrian troops were deployed to areas adjacent to the zone of Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring. Kurdish units were given 150 hours to pull out of the 30-km zone along the Syria-Turkey border. The withdrawal was completed by October 29 and on November 1, Russian military police and Turkish troops launched joint patrols in areas east of the Euphrates River.

On October 28, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced that Washington intended to deploy additional land mechanized forces to north Syria to protect oil fields from IS terrorists. High-ranking officials in the US administration have repeatedly reinforced measures to impose control over oil extraction in Syria with statements outlining that Washington is not willing to give up cooperation with Syrian Kurds in spite of Turkish demands.

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