"I think that the United States is more focused on reducing Russia's influence in Syria than on finding a peaceful way to resolve the conflict" in the war-torn Arab country, General Gamal Mazlum said, referring to the US-led coalition airstrike on the Syrian Arab Army's base in the city of Deir ez-Zor.
The United States and Turkey, he added, "are trying to extend their influence in the region to improve their standing during the talks that some say could be held in October."
Mazlum further said that the Syrian conflict that has claimed more than 280,000 lives and left half of the country's population displaced had to be resolved through diplomatic means. "The time for a political settlement in Syria, whatever it might be, has come," he said.
"Regardless of the situation on the battlefield, it will not make Syria stable. Let Bashar al-Assad remain [in power] during the transition period, for, say, six months and then there will be a transfer of power," the defense analyst noted.
For its part, Moscow is more focused on tackling terrorist groups in the country. In addition, Russia has long maintained that the Syrian people are the only ones who can determine the nation's future and choose its leader.
Washington's true goals in Syria have been questioned following the Deir ez-Zor attack.
The airfield in Deir ez-Zor has long remained a "bane of Daesh," one of the only areas in the city controlled by Damascus-led forces that has served as a channel for food and medical aid deliveries to civilians trapped in the city.
"The US needed such a large-scale attack to show that it was committed to protecting armed groups and fueling aggression," he said. The airstrike was also meant to "justify their presence as a force opposed to Russia and Syria, as well as to counter Russia's growing influence as a state capable of solving regional issues at the negotiating table."