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Moscow: US has no right to criticize Russia’s legitimate presence in Syria

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 troops are pictured in a joint convoy with Turkish troops (unseen) patrolling in oil fields near the town of al-Qahtaniyah, in Syria's northeastern Hasakah province, on February 4, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Russia has sharply dismissed America’s criticism of Moscow’s role in Syria, saying the United States, which maintains an illegal presence in the Arab country, is in no position to comment on the Russian presence there, which comes at the request of the legitimate government in Damascus.

In a post on its Twitter account on Thursday, the Russian Embassy in the United States reminded Washington that the Russian military had been invited to Syria by the very governemnt of the Arab state to help boost the Syrian army’s counter-terrorism operations.

“We would like to remind: the US military presence in #Syria is illegal in the first place. So the #US does not have any right to criticize legitimate actions of the Russian Armed Forces which operate in #Syria on the invitation of the Syrian Government,” it wrote.

The tweet came two days after Sean O’Donnell, acting inspector general of the US Defense Department, claimed in a report that that Russian military’s operations in northeastern Syria constitute a breach of de-confliction processes.

During the first quarter of 2021, “Russia continued to violate the de-confliction processes that the Coalition and Russia established in northeastern Syria to prevent inadvertent escalations," the report alleged.

“While Russian forces largely adhered to the de-confliction processes, violations increased slightly compared to the previous quarter,” it added.

Russia has been helping Syrian forces in ongoing battles across the conflict-plagued country, mainly providing aerial support to ground operations against foreign-backed terrorists.

The Russian military assistance, which began in September 2015 at the request of the Syrian government, has proved effective as Syrians continue to recapture key areas from foreign-backed terror groups.

Similar to Russia, Iran has also been offering advisory military assistance to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at its official request.

However, the US has deployed forces and military equiqment in Syria without any authorization from Damascus or the UN.

Washington has long been collaborating with anti-Damascus militants and stealing Syria’s crude resources, ignoring repeated calls by Damascus to end its occupation of the country.

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