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Lavrov certain Washington eyeing long-term, even permanent foothold in Syria
Russia has no reasons to doubt Washington's intention to gain a firm foothold in Syria for long, if not forever, and to press for dismembering that Arab republic, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Chavusoglu in Moscow on Wednesday.
"Today we discussed a number of Syria-related problems, including US actions, in the first place, those on the eastern bank of the Euphrates and in the whole eastern part of Syria, where the Americans are really creating military bases. I am certain there can be no doubts about the intention of at least some members of the US leadership to gain a firm foothold there for long, if not forever, and to press for the dismembering of Syria," Lavrov said.
Moscow has used all channels to strongly warn Washington against attacking Damascus, Lavrov added.
"Today, we have discussed many aspects of the Syria issue, including the United States' actions, particularly on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River and in eastern Syria, where the Americans have been indeed setting up military bases. I am sure that there is no reason to doubt that at least some people in US ruling circles seek to ensure their presence there for the long term, if not forever, and contribute to the collapse of the Syrian state," the Russian top diplomat pointed out, adding that "various methods have been put to use to achieve this goal."
"Yesterday, our Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry publicly announced that preparations are being made for new provocations involving chemical weapons - in particular, such incidents are planned to be staged in Eastern Ghouta in order to attract the global community's attention - as always, they will be wailing about civilian sufferings and civilian victims, and the US-led coalition may use it as a pretext to use force, particularly attacking the Syrian capital," Lavrov said.
"Yesterday, we strongly warned the United States through all channels. I hope that these irresponsible plans won't be implemented," he added. "But in any case, these plans show that the United States still seeks to create pretexts for ousting the regime -they [the Americans] have been saying for a reason that all the options are still on the table," the Russian foreign minister noted.
According to Lavrov, such a step will be "a violation of all the international laws, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 and Washington's vows to refrain from undermining Syria's territorial integrity." "They will have to prove it with actions rather than with words. But too many of their actions don't follow their rhetoric," Lavrov added.
At the March 12 meeting of the UN Security Council, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Hailey said that Washington was ready to attack Syria once again in case the United Nations proved unable to ensure the ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta. On Tuesday, Chief of Russia's General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov stated that the Russian Defense Ministry was ready to take retaliatory measures against the US possible attack on Damascus in case Russian military servicemen in the Syrian capital were put in danger.
[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 14Mar18]
War in Syria
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