US military withdrawal from Syria could stabilize situation

TEHRAN, Nov. 22 (MNA) – The withdrawal of the American military contingent from the northeast of Syria could contribute to the stabilization of the situation in the country, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev said.

"We believe that the illegal presence of the American servicemen on the territory of Syria is precisely one of the main factors contributing to an unstable situation. We believe that the withdrawal of the American military contingent not only from the northeast but also from the so-called 55-kilometer zone in Al-Tanf would undoubtedly contribute to the normalization and stabilization of the situation," the Russian envoy said ahead of the international round of the Astana talks on Syria, TASS reported. 

Lavrentyev also noted that Russia would work with its Iranian and Turkish partners to facilitate the Kurds' decision to withdraw US troops.

"We see that the West is coordinating efforts to try to undermine the positions of the legitimate authorities in Damascus. We will work, we will talk to our Turkish and Iranian friends about what we can do to facilitate a Kurdish decision to withdraw US troops. It's quite a difficult task, we are well aware of that, but we think it is feasible," he added.

“We will certainly discuss the transborder mechanism of humanitarian assistance deliveries with our partners. We in the Russian Federation insist that the mechanism is outdated and should be cast aside," he noted. 

Lavrentyev considered the aid pledged to Syria as insufficient and almost minimal including the aid meant for the pro-governmental areas of the country.  “This is indicative not of a deficit in money, but rather of the reluctance of some countries to render any efficient assistance to the legitimate Syrian government."

Moscow believes that there is a need to address the increased activities of terrorist groups in Syria, Lavrentyev noted.

"We will consider the current security situation. Terrorist organizations have stepped up their activities in the country, it’s not just about the so-called ISIL, but also about others, be it in central Syria, in the country’s south, <...> in Idlib, and in the northeast, beyond the Euphrates River," he pointed out.

"We believe that it’s important to consider the issue and agree on further actions in this regard in order to ensure a sustainable ceasefire in certain areas because a nationwide ceasefire in Syria, which is often called for, is hardly achievable under the current conditions, given the increased activities of terrorist groups," Lavrentyev emphasized.

Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Syria also said that Western media reports that the Syrian armed forces allegedly attacked Idlib with the support of Russian aircraft are lies.

"I must mention the flood of false reports in the Western media, alleging that the Syrian armed forces, supported by Russian aircraft, conducted a number of indiscriminate strikes on Idlib. Those reports are lies," he said.

"All strikes are carried out only after their targets are verified three times and attacks clearly target militant headquarters in order to prevent those destructive forces from taking further provocative actions," the Russian envoy noted.

According to Lavrentyev, Western countries seek to use the Syria issue for confrontation with Moscow.

"I must mention the destructive role that the West is currently playing. We can see that it’s trying to use the Syria issue for confrontation with Russia on yet another front, which is rather regrettable," he said ahead of an Astana international meeting on Syria.

According to him, Russia, in contrast, believes that the international community should unite and foster joint efforts to stabilize the situation in Syria.

Astana is to receive representative delegations from Syria (from the government and opposition) and guarantor countries (Russia, Iran, and Turkey). Also, there will be observers from Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon, along with representatives of the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross. 

The meeting may also put light on the future fate of the Syrian Constitutional Committee from Geneva to another venue. 

SKH/PR

News Code 193970

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