US troops illegally present in Syria for nearly a decade under pretext of fighting international terrorism, but their actions show otherwise, providing arms to PKK/YPG, says spokesperson.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova blamed the US on Tuesday for the ongoing armed conflict in eastern Syria between the PKK/YPG and Arab tribes.
Foreign military contingents, including US troops, have been illegally present in Syria for nearly a decade under the pretext of fighting international terrorism, Zakharova said in her response to a question from Anadolu correspondent at a news conference in Moscow.
“The US (troops) came to Syria under the pretext of fighting international terrorism, although they were not invited. Their activities produced entirely different results.
“Their main goal is the implementation of a specific geopolitical project that provides for the establishment of military and political control, if not over the entire Syria, then at least over its northeastern part, the Euphrates area,” Zakharova explained.
Washington encourages separatist aspirations of Kurds “in every possible way, including by pumping weapons into Kurdish armed formations and exempting them from their unilateral anti-Syrian sanctions,” she noted.
The self-proclaimed administration of northeast Syria, created with direct US assistance, has turned into a quasi-governmental entity that exists under the military cover of the American military, she said.
However, she added, this deepened tensions between Kurds and Arabs, which lasted from the pre-crisis times and is based on a struggle for resources.
“As a result of the events that have shaken Syria in recent years, these contradictions have only worsened, and this time the Arabs felt offended, because they found themselves on the sidelines in the system of the new governing bodies on the Euphrates led by the Kurds, not to mention the fact that the Kurds do not hesitate to accuse their opponents of aiding ISIS terrorists, who largely relied on the support of local tribes during the so-called caliphate,” Zakharova said.
The spokeswoman argued that “despite the available military-political and financial capabilities, the US is not able to succeed in such a delicate matter as the regulation of interethnic relations.”
“They use force and harsh political opportunities that are not in line with international law and diplomacy. As a consequence of this, the current outbreaks of fierce clashes between Kurdish combat units and Arab tribal militias have become,” she said.
Only the restoration of Damascus’ control over the Euphrates areas, according to Zakharova, will end the conflicts.
When asked about the Armenian government’s decision to send the Rome Statute, establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC), to parliament for ratification, which Russia sees as “unfriendly,” Zakharova told Anadolu that Moscow has requested an explanation from Yerevan and will outline next steps based on the response.
She also said incidents on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border show the “ineffectiveness” of the EU monitoring mission in Armenia.
Russia’s position is that the work on border delimitation and the deployment of the Collective Security Treaty Organization mission in the area would help to address the problem, she said.
Relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
In the fall of 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages, and settlements from Armenian occupation during 44 days of clashes. The war ended with a Russia-brokered peace agreement.
Despite ongoing talks over a long-term peace agreement, tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia rose in recent months over the Lachin road, the only land route giving Armenia access to the Karabakh region, where Azerbaijan established a border checkpoint in April on the grounds of preventing the illegal transport of military arms and equipment to the region.
Since then, Yerevan has accused Azerbaijan of causing a “humanitarian crisis” in the region. Baku has vehemently denied Armenia’s claims and has proposed the use of the Aghdam-Khankendi road for shipments to the region.