Zaxharova on ten years of war in Syria

The country has been subjected to unprecedented aggression by international terrorism.

Maria Zakharova at March 12 Press Conference
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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
March 15 marks ten years since the outbreak of mass unrest in the Syrian Arab Republic. Outside interference rapidly transformed the internal political process into an armed conflict, in which illegal armed groups came to the fore. The country has been subjected to unprecedented aggression by international terrorism.

Thanks to the decisive contribution of Russia, it was possible to defeat ISIS and inflict irreparable damage on other structures of the terrorist international. As a result of the concerted efforts of the partners in the “Astana format” – Russia, Iran, Turkey – a stable regime of cessation of hostilities is provided in most of the territory of the SAR. Yet, separate hotbeds of tension still remain in Idlib, where the terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra and allied bandit formations have dug in, as well as in the zones of the illegal US military presence in Trans-Euphrates and At-Tanf.

Taking an uncompromising position on international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and providing military assistance to eliminate it on Syrian soil, Russia firmly and consistently stands for a political settlement of the internal conflict in Syria. We are deeply convinced that it has no military solution. We are committed to the political process, led and carried out by the Syrians themselves on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 2254. We are doing our best in contacts with the Government of the SAR and representatives of the opposition to promote it.

We are actively promoting the work of the Inter-Syrian Constitutional Committee in Geneva, created in accordance with the decisions of the Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue, held in 2018 in Sochi. We are encouraging the Syrian parties to ensure that discussions on this platform are regular and constructive. At the same time, we are convinced of the need for the Syrians to independently develop a common vision of the future of their homeland without external pressure and without setting artificial deadlines for reaching the final result.

The imperative of our policy in the Syrian direction has always been and remains respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.

On the tragic anniversary of the beginning of the devastating and bloody events in Syria, one cannot but recall the numerous atrocities committed by terrorists against the civilian population, and the provocations of pseudo-humanitarian workers from the White Helmets with the use of chemical weapons, inspired by their Western patrons. As you know, it was the far-fetched accusations against the SAR government of war crimes that were repeatedly used by the Americans and their allies to justify strikes on Syrian territory in violation of international law and bypassing the UN Security Council.

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We consider the promotion of the voluntary and safe return of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes as an important step towards the restoration of national unity in Syria. We are convinced that solving the urgent humanitarian task of ensuring decent living conditions for the millions of Syrians who have suffered in a foreign land requires the energetic participation of the entire international community.

Unfortunately, not everyone is happy with the positive trends in Syria. After the failure of the previous many years of attempts by the anti-Syrian forces to achieve the goal of overthrowing the legitimate government of this country by force – by the hands of bandits and terrorists, they switched to methods of financial and economic strangulation. For this, unilateral restrictive measures are used, the provision of external assistance is blocked, and obstacles are created for the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to the territories controlled by the Government of the SAR. At the same time, the selective assistance that Western countries provide to their clients in Syria can only consolidate the existing lines of division in Syrian society and stimulate separatist sentiments in those areas that are artificially isolated today.

We consider the approaches of those who make political demands on the provision of humanitarian assistance to the Syrians inhumane and unconstructive, especially in the context of the new coronavirus infection pandemic. The Syrians are actually being punished for not wanting to live according to the patterns imposed on them from outside. We see this as another evidence of the double standards applied by our opponents in relation to Syria, which they are trying to make a hostage to their narrowly selfish geopolitical interests, to turn it into a territory of permanent internal conflicts and an arena for settling scores of external forces. It is not surprising that this position is taken by those states that were directly involved in fanning the Syrian fire, provided and continue to provide support to anti-government forces, including terrorists. It is they who bear the main responsibility for the ongoing Syrian tragedy.

We call on everyone who is actually interested in an early settlement of the crisis in Syria to abandon politicized approaches and take an effective part in providing international assistance to the Syrian people.

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