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    Smoke billows following a reported air strike in the rebel-held parts of the Jobar district, on the eastern outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus

    New US Sanctions on Damascus Allies to Hinder Anti-Terror Fight in Syria

    © AFP 2019 / Mohammed EYAD
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    The latest US bill on sanctions against the Syrian government and its foreign allies, including Russia and Iran, only serves as an obstacle to the fight against terrorism and peace process in Syria, Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the Russian State Duma International Affairs Committee, said Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives passed the law on imposing sanctions against foreign backers providing support, including military, to Syrian President Bashar Assad and his alleged human rights abuses.

    "The law, which basically forces the US President to impose sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad and his allies will further complicate the situation in Syria and the fight with international terrorism on its territory… This law is clearly destructive for the Syrian peace process," Slutsky told the reporters.

    Slutsky said that while Russia, Iran and Turkey were working on creating safe zones in Syria, US lawmakers were not helping in this process and even obstructing it.

    According to the Russian lawmaker, this measure was another proof of the split in the US political establishment.

    "While President Donald Trump urges to fight terrorism in Syria, and not Assad, supporters of the previous administration continue fighting for the deposition of Assad's government at any cost," Slutsky said.

    Russia has been carrying out air strikes in Syria against the Islamic State terror group (banned in Russia) since September 30, 2015, at the request of Assad. Targets are selected on the basis of intelligence data from Russia, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

    The United States has also been conducting air strikes in Syria, but without the authorization of the country's government.


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