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Russian envoy: US occupation must leave Syria, their presence threatens stability in region

US Army soldiers prepare to go out on patrol from a remote combat outpost on May 25, 2021 in northeastern Syria. (File photo by Getty Images)

Russian President’s Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa has urges the United States to end its illegitimate occupation of parts of Syria, saying the American forces' presence in the Arab country poses a threat to regional stability.

Mikhail Bogdanov, who is also Russia's deputy foreign minister, made the remarks in an interview on Saturday, the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.

The US presence in Syria “is a matter of big concern as it threatens stability in the region,” the Russian official said.

It is only through such withdrawal that Syria would be able to properly address the problems it faces in terms of stability, return of the displaced people, and reconstruction, Bogdanov emphasized.

The US occupation impedes the efforts that are aimed at resolving Syria’s woes, he added, calling on Washington to show respect for the Arab country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

The US and its allies invaded Syria in 2014 under the pretext of fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group. The terrorist outfit had emerged as Washington was running out of excuses to extend its regional meddling or enlarge it in scale.

The US military interference, however, was surprisingly slow in confronting the terrorists, despite the sheer size of the coalition that had enlisted scores of Washington-allied countries.

Numerous reports and regional officials would, meanwhile, point to the US’ role in transferring Daesh elements throughout the region and even airlifting supplies to the terror outfit.

In 2017 and at the height of the coalition's military campaign in Syria, Russia drew a parallel between the destruction that was being caused by the US-led forces and the wholesale bombing campaign against the German city of Dresden during the World War II.

Last month, the Syrian Military Prosecution announced that it has launched an investigation into violations committed by the United States military forces in the country, particularly the occupation troops’ training of the Daesh Takfiri terrorists and collaboration with them to carry out various acts of terror.

“The Military Prosecution has come up with sufficient and incontrovertible evidence that American forces assert fairly direct control over Daesh members as well as their terrorist activities across Syria, using its illegal base in al-Tanf [region in southern Syria],” Ahmad Touzan, a spokesman for the prosecution, said at a press conference in the capital Damascus.

He noted, “We have convincing proof that many Daesh terrorists are currently being trained at that base. The armed terrorists visit the base aboard their vehicles without any restraint.”

Touzan went on to stress that the Syrian Military Prosecution will explore all available judicial means in order to prosecute American occupation forces for the plunder of natural resources in Syria’s oil-rich northeastern province of Hasakah as well as the eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.

“The probe will provide Syrian authorities with the opportunity to take appropriate legal actions against the US administration and American occupation forces in the near future,” Touzan pointed out.

The US military trains anti-Damascus militants at al-Tanf base, which is situated near Syria's borders with Iraq and Jordan. 

Washington has unilaterally declared a 55-kilometer “de-confliction zone” around the facility, and frequently threatened to target Syrian forces within the area.

Back in May 2020, a number of captured Daesh terrorists confessed to close cooperation with US military forces stationed at al-Tanf base on carrying out various acts of terror and sabotage.

Last December, Syria’s foreign minister said occupation of northeastern and southern parts of his country by US forces is dangerous and must come to an end.

Faisal Mekdad, who was speaking in a meeting with Iran’s parliament speaker, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, in Tehran, elaborated on the efforts made by Damascus to put an end to occupation of certain regions in the northwestern part of the country, adding, “US occupationism in northeastern and southern parts of Syria is also dangerous and must end.”

“They are trying to impose their dominion and colonialism on our countries through soft war and with the help of their various tools in the region, including nongovernmental organizations that are affiliated to them, economic instruments and paying off certain people,” the Syrian foreign minister said.

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