Lavrov: US-Led Coalition's Strikes on Syrian Army Affect Country's Sovereignty

© REUTERS / Omar SanadikiPeople walk near a Syrian national flag at the President bridge in Damascus, Syria March 14, 2016
People walk near a Syrian national flag at the President bridge in Damascus, Syria March 14, 2016 - Sputnik International
The US-coalition's strikes on Syrian forces affect the sovereignty of the country, the Russian foreign minister said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Moscow considers the situation with the strikes by the US-led coalition on the Syrian forces in the country's south very alarming, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.

"As you know, there were not only threats, but also the fact of the specific use of force in that area. I think that this situation is very alarming, as it directly affects the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic. Of course, these issues require settlement, which is what our military is currently engaged in," Lavrov said at a press conference with his Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama.

The US-coalition conducted airstrikes against a Syrian military convoy near the town of al-Tanf.

This was the second time that Donald Trump administration has used military force directly against Damascus.

The US Air Force fighter jets - Sputnik International
Al-Tanf Air Raid: Russian Senator Explains How US Forces Can Avoid 'Threats'
On April 6, US Navy destroyers fired 59 cruise missiles at the Ash Sha'irat Airbase in western Syria, calling their attacks a "warning" to Damascus following a chemical weapons incident in Idlib province which Washington claimed was carried out by Syrian government forces. The claim was rejected by Damascus. The world is still waiting for the US and its allies to provide any proof for its claims of Syrian government involvement in the alleged chemical attack.

Furthermore, on September 16, US-led coalition aircraft carried out four strikes against the Syrian Army near the Deir ez-Zor airport, killing nearly 100 people, according to reports.

The US-led coalition of 68 nations is conducting airstrikes, ground-based and rocket-propelled artillery fire against Daesh in Syria and Iraq. The strikes in Iraq are conducted in support of the Iraqi government, but those in Syria are not authorized by the UN Security Council or the government of President Bashar Assad.

US Participation in Work on Syria De-Escalation Zones Would Be Effective

It would be effective to include the United States in the work to coordinate the parameters of the de-escalation zones in Syria, Lavrov said.

"The work is ongoing within the framework of the channel which was created earlier to prevent unintentional incidents between the Russian Aerospace Forces and the US-led coalition. Everything would be resolved much more effectively if the United States agreed to join the work to coordinate the parameters of the de-escalation zones via this channel which is rather limited in its agenda," Lavrov told the press conference.

The Russian minister added that the coordination of such parameters was underway.

"The results of this work will be brought to the next meeting of the participants of the Astana format [on Syria] which should take place rather soon," Lavrov added.

A soldier of the Syrian Arab Army at an observation post at the frontline in the al-Kom village of the Quneitra province in Syria - Sputnik International
Situation in Syrian De-Escalation Zones is Stable - Russian MoD
On May 4, Russia, Turkey and Iran signed the memorandum on establishment of four safe zones Syria as part of the Astana settlement talks. The zones span the northwestern Idlib province and parts of the neighboring Latakia, Hama and Aleppo, the north of the central Homs province, Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, as well as southern Daraa and Quneitra regions. The memorandum came into force on May 6.

Syria has been in the state of civil war for six years, with government forces fighting against both Syrian opposition groups who strive to overthrow President Bashar Assad, and numerous extremist and terrorist groups such as Daesh and al-Nusra Front (Jabhat Fatah al Sham), both of which are outlawed in Russia. Russia and Turkey are the guarantors of a nationwide Syrian ceasefire regime that came into force on December 30, 2016.

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