Situation on Ground in Syria has Deeply Changed Thanks to Syrian-Russian Military and Political Cooperation

NEW YORK, (ST)- Undoubtedly, the situation on ground in Syria has deeply changed thanks to the Syrian-Russian cooperation both in the battlefield and in the political and economic domains, the Syrian Deputy Premier, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates al-Moallem said in an interview with the Russian RT Channel, stressing that the Syrian people highly appreciate the initiative of the Russian President Vladimir Putin to support the Syrian Arab army's efforts in fighting terrorism through ensuring effective air cover for this process.

Demilitarized zone in Idlb

Al-Moallem told RT that the implementation of the agreement on demilitarized zone in Idleb has started. "I think that this demilitarized zone would save both military efforts and souls, and as a Syrian government, we prefer that the situation in Idleb will be solved peacefully  and through reconciliation which has been proved to be successful in different Syrian areas, al-Moallem said, adding that this agreement is a positive indication of the possibility of restoring the Syrian authority over all the Syrian lands.

 However, in order to establish its authority, the Syrian state has a legitimate right to use other means, but we do not want to go as far as this," he stressed.

 Fate of terrorists in Idleb

First of all, the foreign terrorists who entered Idleb came across Turkey, and Turkey know well from where and how the terrorists came, so it is normal for these terrorists to return to their countries in the same way. Secondly, the Syrians who are fighting along these terrorists, can join reconciliation and benefit from the amnesty decree and they can hand over their weapon and return to their original residence places in different cities to live normal life after getting their legal status settled.

The Syrians are against Secession

Al-Moallem stressed that the Syrian people is against attempts of secession, the Syrian state has to decisively confront such attempts. "I don't think that in the areas where the Kurds exist, there are people who are  talking about secession. They are talking about rights, some of which can be achieved through dialogue with the representatives of the Syrian government," he clarified, affirming that the illegal US presence in the East Euphrates area complicate the issue.

"The situation is complicated not by Kurds but by the US presence, which gives Kurds the illusion of being able to act in disrespect of Damascus's legitimate authority… If they still try to achieve secession, accepting the US stand, then I can say that we will have to adopt the way we do not want to follow, the way of a military solution," al-Moallem told RT.

He further noted that the negotiations between Damascus and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were fruitful at the beginning but they were disrupted by the interference of the United States.

"The beginning was good, however then the process was disrupted due to the US factor. When the talks started, the United States increased their military deliveries to Kurds, they sent trucks and the negotiations were disrupted. Moreover, they attacked Syrian military who were situated in that region. The attack was not justified by anything and is unacceptable," al-Moallem said, according to the interview.

US Al-Tanf Base

Regarding the future of the US-al-Tanf base, al-Maolem said "the Russian friends are talking with the Americans about the future of this base".

"We wonder why the American have established this base and ask what are their interests behind establishing it. Facts shows that the US is gathering the remnants of Daesh terror organization at this base in order to regroup and reinforce them as to later send them to fight the Syrian army in order to prolong the crisis in Syria to serve Israel's interests. I want to tell them that these efforts are vain, that this is unreal, that this has an aggressive nature," he made it clear.   

S-300 defense system

 Al-Moallem highly appreciated the decision of President Valdimir Putin to supply Syria with S-300 system, which is basically a defensive system rather than an offensive one, aiming to protect the Syrian airspace which is important for establish security and stability not for war.

"It is a system which is defensive in its nature rather than offensive, and it is intended for the defense of the Syrian airspace. If we analyze the importance of the Syrian airspace's protection, we will see that it reflects security and stability, but not a war. I would like to note that it is a very timely step and we are very grateful to Russia for its efforts," the minister said.

Refugees Return

On the Syrian refugees file, al-Moallem said that the west is hindering the return of the Syrians to their homeland by frightening them and telling them that their lives will be in danger .

"We are coordinating with Russia regarding the return of the refugees and we have already received thousands of Syrian returnees," al-Maolem said, pointing out that linking this file to the political process hinders the return of many Syrians home."

Syria seeks good relations with neighbors

 The top Syrian diplomat affirmed that Syria is seeking good relations with neighboring countries.

"We want good relations with our neighbors, but the neighbors who have harmed us should reconsider their stances," he said.

He pointed out that Syria's relations with the Lebanese President Michel Aoun and other Lebanese forces are good, but the equation of relationship with Beirut has changed.

He added that we are cooperating with Iraq in the fight against Daesh, but our policy is based on non interference in countries' affairs.

He also made it clear that there is no link between the American presence and the Iranian presence in Syria and that Syria's relation with Iran is nonnegotiable.

“The presence of Iranian advisers in Syria is legitimate and at the request of the Damascus government contrary to the American deployment, which is an act of aggression against Syria and must cease,” al-Moallem pointed out.

Hamda Mustafa