US Planning to Disintegrate Syria, Not Fighting ISIS: Russian FM Lavrov
Story Code : 703217
“It’s very likely that the Americans have taken a course of dividing the country. They just gave up their assurances, given to us, that the only goal of their presence in Syria – without an invitation of the legitimate government – was to defeat ISIS and the terrorists,” Lavrov said.
Regarding pledges to keep a limited military contingent in the war-town state, Lavrov says the US is not being open about their true objectives.
“Now [the Americans] are saying that they will keep their presence till they make sure a steady process of a political settlement in Syria starts, which will result in regime change,” the minister said during a conference in Sochi.
The foreign minister claimed there are “plans of virtual division of Syria.”
“We know of [them] and we will ask our American colleagues, how they are seeing [Syria’s division].”
The US has nearly 2,000 troops currently stationed in Syria. In December, the Pentagon announced the troops will remain on the ground for as long as needed “to support our partners and prevent the return of terrorist groups.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later reiterated the plan.
Although the Syrian government regards the deployment of US troops on its sovereign territory as illegal, Washington claims the troops are reportedly fighting ISIS terrorists.
Moscow, which operates in the country on the Syrian government’s request, insists that the US has no grounds to have a military presence in the country without the permission of the Syrian government.
Washington has also been arming and funding various groups under the banners of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
"The US, flirting with various segments of Syrian society that oppose the government with arms in their hands, may lead to very dangerous consequences,” Lavrov warned.