“No evidence that US coordinates with ISIS, despite acting suspiciously” – Russia


November 16th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

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– Breakingnews.sy – – translated by Samer Hussein –

MOSCOW, Russia. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that Moscow has no evidence of US coordination with the terrorist group ISIS, though it does consider Washington’s actions to be negatively impacting counter-terrorism operations in Syria. 

At a joint press conference held with his Argentine counterpart Jorge Faurie in Moscow on Thursday, Lavrov stressed that there is no evidence that the US-led international “anti-ISIS” coalition has been coordinating with the terrorist group ISIS. 

When asked by journalists on the withdrawal of the remaining ISIS elements from the Syrian city of Raqqah, Lavrov said there is no evidence that the withdrawal was executed in coordination with the US-led forces, however, the whole thing nevertheless remains suspicious, which is why  Moscow asked Washington to provide details on the events there.

He pointed out that Washington’s actions are negatively impacting the situation in Syria. 

Lavrov expressed Moscow’s surprise at the remarks of the US Defense Secretary James Mattis that Washington’s military presence in Syria is based on a UN resolution, describing it as completely void.

He then strongly criticized the US draft resolution on extending the mandate of the UN-OPCW joint investigation mechanism on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. 

The Russian Foreign Minister stated that Moscow is pursuing a constructive approach and understands the importance of maintaining an opportunity to investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the neighboring countries.

He also pointed to the need for amendments to the investigative mechanisms, as stipulated in the Russian draft resolution presented to the member states of the UN Security Council. 

The Minister explained that the Russian draft resolution aims to ensure impartiality of the investigations, in line with the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. 

Lavrov noted that Moscow had no doubts about the professionalism of experts working within the investigative mechanisms and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), though their latest report was in no way independent, neutral or impartial, but rather heavily politicized.

Lavrov said that the UN Security Council’s rejection of the Russian draft resolution in this regard means that the West aims to keep its investigative mechanisms as a tool for manipulation.

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