October 2, 2017 – Fort Russ News – Paul Antonopoulos
Moscow, Russia – Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that comments made by the commander of special operations of the US-led Coalition to Combat the Islamic State, Major-General James Gerrard, are nothing short of strange.
“Commander of special operations of the US-led Coalition General Gerrard has recently outdone all of his colleague in his illusions about what is going on in eastern Syria,” he said. “Anyway, it is rather strange to hear the coalition general talk geographical nonsense about ‘thousands of Arabs’ allegedly fleeing liberated Deir ez-Zor to Mayadin [southwards] and say they are heading not to the Arab-populated south but to the north.”
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“Especially for the command of special operations of the US coalition,” the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman highlighted that Mayadin, 40 kilometers south of Deir ez-Zor, was liberated from ISIS more than two weeks ago.
“That is why thousands of Syrians are not ‘fleeing’ Deir ez-Zor to that city but are returning to their homes with humanitarian aid delivered by the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties and international organizations,” he noted. “But no Syrian seems to be willing to flee Deir ez-Zor northwards, to liberated Raqqa. Because there is no Raqqa after bombings by the US-led coalition.”
General Gerrard claimed that thousands of Arabs were fleeing Deir ez-Zor to Mayadin from the Syrian government which is liberating these cities seeking shelter in the north which is controlled by the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.
Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies. He has an MA in International Relations and is interested in Great Power Rivalry as well as the International Relations and Political Economy of the Middle East and Latin America.