5 October، 2015
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that all the counter-terrorism actions taken by Russia in Syria are done based on the request of the Syrian leadership and are carried out openly, and that Russia is committed to its call for uniting all efforts seeking to combat international terrorism.
In a joint press conference with Foreign Affairs Minister of Laos held on Monday in Moscow, Lavrov stressed that the Syrian Arab Army is the only force capable of combating terrorism on the group effectively.
He also said that Moscow is prepared to contact the “Free Army” in Syria if it actually has an presence on the ground, but it seems that it’s actually imaginary, explaining that he asked U.S. State Secretary John Kerry to provide any information about its locations and leaders, but so far no-one has informed Russia about where and how the so-called “moderate opposition” is operating.
The Russian Minister noted that the alliance against ISIS announced by the Americans more than a year ago and its countless airstrikes in Syria have not shown any real effectiveness on the ground, with the U.S. itself evaluating the results of these airstrikes as modest.
He also pointed out to the Americans’ failure in training the “moderate opposition” in Syria.
Lavrov said that the U.S. claims that the Syrian army isn’t fighting ISIS are far from logical, and that preventing the Syrian army from entering areas where the Western alliance are carrying out airstrikes means that these areas will be occupied by new terrorist organizations.
The Minister went on to reiterate Russia’s readiness to cooperate with all sides that are committed to combating terrorism.
He said that attempts to topple the Syrian government violate the Security Council resolution which approved the 2012 Geneva communiqué, and that statements made by certain Western capitals, which said that if the situation in Syria continues this would warrant military intervention, violate international law.
He pointed out that Russia is announcing its actions against ISIS in Syria via daily press conferences to detail ISIS sites that are being targeted, and that he hasn’t heard any talk of the U.S. or any other side’s intention to confront Russia in Syria.
The Russian Minister said that there’s ongoing communication with the American side on the level of presidents regarding the situation in Syria, in addition to talks between defense ministries to prevent any conflict between Russian and American forces.
He also refuted Western media claims that Russian aircrafts are targeting civilians, asserting that Russia is facing such malicious propaganda by providing documented facts and evidence of the sites targeted by the Russian Air Force.
Lavrov warned against the falsification carried out by some formerly-respectable media outlets in the past when they showed images of events that supposedly took place in Syria, and later those events turned out to have taken place in Iraq or Ukraine or elsewhere in the Middle East.
Al-Moallem: Russian airstrikes were being prepared for months
5 October، 2015
Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem said that the Russian airstrikes in Syria were being prepared for months, and that they cannot be linked to the present time.
In a preview of an interview given to al-Mayadeen TV due to be broadcast in full later, al-Moallem said that Russia worked hard to establish an information center in Iraq that involves Russia, Iraq, Syria, and Iran, asserting that this center will serve an important role in exchanging information.
“Without a doubt, Russia will win this race. I have no doubt at all, and the reason behind that is practical and simple: it’s because Russia is coordinating with the Syrian Arab Army, which is the only force in Syria that is confronting terrorism,” he said.
Al-Moallem went on to say that when military action has coordination on the ground and in the sky, the operations will produce results, noting that the United States on the other hand doesn’t coordinate with Syria, which is why after 9,000 airstrikes against ISIS and more than a year later, the terrorist organization became stronger and more widespread.
Answering a question about making the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry waits until al-Moallem’s meeting with Russian counterpart was over, al-Moallem said Kerry came to interrupt not to meet, adding “Of course I will not meet Kerry without a prior appointment and after the Syrian leadership agrees on holding such meeting.”
Al-Moallem said the Syrians are comfortable for the efforts of Russia’s head of state and the Russian military efforts in Syria, highlighting that the countries which have been conspiring on Syria were shocked when the Russian sorties and air raids in Syrian had started.
He underlined that Russia, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, is playing its role in accordance with the UN charter and Moscow respects the sovereignty and independence of all countries.
The Syrian Minister said the UN Security Council issued 3 resolutions on Syria under the 7th chapter and still there were no results on the ground, adding that 70% of terrorism in Syria could have been stopped immediately if the neighboring countries had adhered to these resolutions.
“Like many of the world’s countries, we have started to lose faith in the UNSC and we would rather rely on our understandings with the Russian Federation. The US and the U.S.-led coalition were not legal and their coalition violated the Syrian sovereignty and the UN Charter and still it was fruitless and caused only more spread of the ISIS,” al-Moallem said, highlighting that the UNSC resolution included the ISIS, Jabhet al-Nusra and all terrorist groups, which are enlisted as terrorist by the UN itself.
On the U.S. stances over the Russian air raids, al-Moallem stressed that the countries which are worried of these raids are the very same ones that have been conspiring on the Syrian people for the past five years; the US, the UK, France, Turkey, KSA and Qatar.
“How can these countries decide whether President al-Assad should stay or step aside for example, I told Kerry that the Syrians are the only side to decide who to lead and what the future of Syria is, all these countries should acknowledge that President al-Assad is the legitimate President of the Syrian Arab republic and the Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian Army and Armed Forces according to the vast majority of the Syrian people,” al-Moallem underscored, adding that Israel is the sole benefiter of the so-called “the Arab Spring” because it is targeting the key armies in the region; the Syrian, Egyptian and Iraqi armies.
Al-Moallem said the Israeli role in the southern region in Syria is known for all and Israel is replicating the acts it had perpetrated in Lebanon and as it is communicating with terrorist organizations and providing them with all their needs, from weapons to logistic help to admitting injured terrorists in its hospitals and above all it has been attacking Syrian military posts after every foiled terrorist attack with the aim of raising the morale of the terrorists.
He reiterated that Turkey has no interests in fighting the ISIS for ideological reasons and is supporting Jabhet al-Nusra and other terrorist organizations for the same reason.
On the possibility of an Iraqi request asking Russia to help Baghdad in fighting terrorism, al-Moallem said the case is similar in Syria and Iraq and if Iraq made such request then Russia will for sure extend help, adding that fighting terrorism in Syria and Iraq is like the “communicating vessels” and that the ISIS will benefit from any lack of coordination between the two countries.
He expressed his faith in achieving victory because the Syrian army is still firm in face of a multi-frontier war against terrorist organizations backed by many countries, and still the army is ready to sacrifice and has the support of almost all the Syrian people, adding that the conspirators are feeling that things are not moving in their favor and that is why they started their hysteric statements and media escalation.
M. Nassr/ Hazem Sabbagh