Mon Feb 13, 2017 09:22AM
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (Photo by AFP)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (Photo by AFP)

Russia reminds the US about the effectiveness of Iran’s anti-terrorism efforts in Syria, warning Washington against attempting to stymie the role of Tehran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance fighters in boosting the counter-terrorism push in the Arab state.

In remarks to Russian television channel NTV on Sunday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Americans are known for their “pragmatic” policies, but it “wouldn’t be pragmatic to just precariously exclude Iran from the anti-terrorist coalition.”

At Damascus’ request, Iran has been lending military advisory support to the Syrian army in its fight against Takfiri terrorist groups, including Daesh, across the Arab country.

Also assisting the Syrian soldiers are fighters with the Hezbollah resistance movement in neighboring Lebanon, which has been suffering over the past years from the spillover the foreign-backed militancy in Syria.

“If US President Trump’s main priority on the international arena is fighting terrorism, then it should be admitted that in Syria not only the Syrian army, supported by Russian Air Force, are fighting ISIL (Daesh), but also Hezbollah groups supported by Iran [are involved in the anti-terrorist fight],” Lavrov said.

On the diplomatic front, Iran, along with Russia and Turkey, has been backing the peace negotiations aimed at ending the deadly crisis in Syria.

The three countries put forward an initiative late last year that helped bring back the Syrian government and opposition groups to the negotiating table in Astana, Kazakhstan, in January.

Read more:

The meeting was followed by a technical one attended by experts from Tehran, Moscow and Ankara in Astana on February 6. The participants discussed the nationwide ceasefire holding in Syria.

Representatives of the Syrian government and opposition groups along with other attendees take part in the first session of Syria peace talks at Astana’s Rixos President Hotel on January 23, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

A third meeting is due to be held in the Kazakh capital on Wednesday with the presence of delegations from the three mediators.

According to the Kazakh Foreign Ministry, other participants comprise representatives of the Syrian government and opposition groups, United Nations Syrian envoy Staffan di Mistura and representatives from the United States and Jordan.

Lavrov further said the current situation concerning the peace talks was more amenable for working towards the resolution of the conflict gripping Syria since 2011.

“We are currently in the situation... that is much more favorable to start working on a real settlement of the crisis,” he noted.

Syria’s warring sides will resume their talks in the Swiss city of Geneva on February 20. The upcoming negotiations will be held under United Nations auspices.