07:50 GMT02 March 2021
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    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - The US policy in the Middle East has failed and is therefore the reason behind US President Donald Trump's recent decision to withdraw troops from Syria, Syrian Ambassador to India Riad Abbas told Sputnik in an interview.

    "The US projects failed in the Middle East as they cannot go more and more by this policy. Syrian forces have defeated the US followers in the ground of Syria, ie the ISIS [Daesh] groups. Our army has defeated ISIS in the ground of Syria and there is no reason for them (the US troops) to remain in the ground of Syria," Abbas said.

    READ MORE: US Envoy for Anti-Daesh Coalition Resigns Over Syria Pullout

    The ambassador emphasized that it was the Syrian government forces that eliminated the Daesh* from the country, claiming that Washington had been trying to gain a foothold in Syria using the terrorist group.

    "They can say whatever they like. But the truth is that ISIS is a part of al-Qaeda [terrorist] organization, which was created by CIA [US Central Intelligence Agency]. ISIS is an American hand in Syria and we defeated them. We defeated the armies of mercenaries led by America in our ground," Abbas stressed.

    He continued by saying he believed that French troops deployed in Syria as part of US-led anti-Daesh coalition would soon leave as well.

    "We are happy that we have achieved the victory. We will defeat all the foreigner groups present in the ground of Syria," Abbas said.

    The diplomat went on to speculate that the withdrawal of US troops had been prompted not only by pressure from Syria and its allies, including Russia, but also by the United States' desire to save its relations with Israel, as well as Turkey, which was critical of Washington's support for the mostly Kurdish opposition unit Syrian Democratic Force.

    READ MORE: Netanyahu: Israel to Boost Ops Against Iran in Syria Amid US Pullout

    "There is pressure on America from our government and our army. Further, there is pressure from our allies such as Russia to let the US follow international law… The second reason that America cannot leave their follower[s] in the Middle East. The priority for America is to save their followers like Israel and Turkey, and the US cannot go more and more to support the Kurdish people who are against the Kurdish government," Abbas said.

    Russia Plays Major Role in Syria's Reconstruction

    The ambassador praised the "cordial relations" between Russia and Syria, stressing that the two countries were "on the same page" on many international issues.

    "Russian troops came to our ground at the request of our government. They are legal troops on the grounds of Syria… Russia is the main supporting country of our government, and they have to do big things together with our government. Their role in our country is very important," Abbas said.

    He also praised the contribution of Russia and other members of the BRICS bloc of emerging economies, as well as Iran, toward rebuilding Syria.

    India's Commitment

    The ambassador to India praised this country's role in helping Syria to recover after its years-long crisis.

    READ MORE: Turkey Reportedly Redeploys Troops to Border With Syria Amid US Pullout

    "We highly appreciate Indian statements on Syrian issue which called for the resolution of the problem through political process and dialogue. India is against external intervention… We welcome all Indian companies to help us rebuilt Syria," Abbas said, also praising Indian companies' participation in the latest edition of Damascus trade fair, India's support for Syria at international forums, and the Indian prime minister's initiative to provide 1,000 scholarships to Syrian students.

    He added that while there was no military cooperation between the two countries, their civil cooperation was highly appreciated.

    "In a political way, Indian government supported our government in the UN. In an economical way, Indian government send public companies to help Syria in the reconstruction. There is a mutual relation between the two countries in the civil issues only, we are not cooperating on military issues," he said.

    In conclusion, Abbas voiced his commitment to strengthening ties with India.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS), al-Qaeda are terrorist groups banned in Russia

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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