Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggested that Washington was willing to shift responsibility for Syria to its coalition partners and its allies in the region by deciding to pull-out its forces from the Arab Republic. Lavrov also noted that Washington does not always fulfil its promises.
"Apparently, Washington wants to shift the responsibility onto its partners in the coalition on the ground, including troops illegally stationed there belonging to France, the United Kingdom, Germany, as well as the air forces of the coalition", Lavrov said.
The Russian foreign minister also slammed Western countries for not being willing to help Syria in its reconstruction.
"Russia has already helped Syrian government establish conditions for normal life [in the country]. The Western states, in my opinion, are acting counterproductively and are violating international humanitarian laws and human rights by refusing to do the same", he said.
Lavrov added that Russia will be demanding that the West change its position on the matter and "recognise their responsibility in facilitating the creation of conditions" for the return of refugees and displaced people during the upcoming conference on Syria's reconstruction in Brussels.
The White House announced on 19 December the withdrawal of its 2,000 troops from Syria within 60 to 100 days. US President Donald Trump justified the pull-out by stating that the American troops had achieved their goal of defeating Daesh* and could therefore return home.
The decision was followed by the resignation of two officials tightly connected with the US operation in the Arab Republic — US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis, who announced that his views were no longer aligned with Trump's, and Brett McGurk, special presidential envoy for the US coalition in Syria.
On Planned Turkish Operation East of Euphrates
The Russian foreign minister also commented on Ankara's plans to launch an operation in Manbij in Syria and east of the Euphrates against Daesh* remnants and Kurdish forces, which Turkey suspects is working with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Lavrov said that the Turkish operation would be discussed at a meeting between the two countries' defence ministers in Moscow on 29 December.
"We are approaching Ankara's plans to conduct another antiterrorist operation in the east of the Arab Republic from the point of eradicating the remaining terrorist forces and restoring the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria", Lavrov said.
Earlier in December, Turkey announced that it would soon launch another military operation on the territory of the Arab Republic, namely in Manbij and east of the Euphrates. However, following a telephone talk with US President Donald Trump, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the operation would be postponed the light of the US withdrawal.
Ankara plans to take on remaining Deash* forces in the operation, as well as Kurds, allegedly tied to the PKK, which Turkey also considers to be terrorist organisation.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia