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Russia: US bombing Syrian troops act of aggression

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting in the capital Moscow on June 7, 2017. (Photos by AFP)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow considers a recent US strike against Syrian military positions an act of aggression as the so-called deconfliction zones in the Arab country are illegitimate.

On Tuesday, US-led warplanes attacked a Syrian military position on the road to the town of al-Tanf, where US forces are based, killing a number of people and causing some material damage.

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On Wednesday, Lavrov said the airstrike “was an aggressive act that violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and – deliberately or not – targeted the forces which are most effective in fighting terrorists on the ground.”   

The US claims the air raid was carried out after Syrian forces “advanced inside the well-established deconfliction zone in southern Syria,” where they posed a threat to “partner forces” based in al-Tanf. The US had previously declared the surrounding 55 kilometers around the town a “deconfliction zone,” in which only forces allied to Washington were allowed entry.

“I don’t know anything about such zones. This must be some territory, which the coalition unilaterally declared [deconfliction zones] and where it probably believes to have a sole right to take action. We cannot recognize such zones,” said Lavrov.

He noted that Iran, Russia and Turkey have signed an agreement, endorsed by the UN Security Council, pertaining to de-escalation zones” in several regions in Syria.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari (C) attends the fourth round of the Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, on May 4, 2017. 

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“This approach was agreed to by Syria. We consider illegitimate any unilateral declaration of ‘deconfliction zones’ not endorsed by Damascus. We hope the coalition will adhere to the agreement it has reached with us, which states that the de-escalation zones must be agreed to in detail by all stakeholders,” he added.    

He added that the Syrian troops who had been attacked in the US airstrike had been attempting to protect a route between Syria and Iraq which Daesh was trying to destroy. He stressed that the US attack resulted in what Daesh was seeking to achieve. 

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