Lavrov: Washington suffered utter failure in attempts to separate “moderate opposition” from terrorists

Ankara, SANA – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov found it odd that the UN has not yet taken the opportunity to deliver humanitarian aid to eastern Aleppo after the liberation of most of its neighborhoods from terrorists.

In a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in the Turkish city of Alanya, Lavrov said there are not now any obstacles standing in the way of delivering aid to Aleppo via the Castello road, noting that Moscow has already informed the UN of that in New York and in Geneva.

Lavrov said that Washington has suffered utter failure in attempts to separate the so-called “moderate opposition” from terrorists, mainly Jabhat al-Nusra, noting that “This issue now has to be dealt with in retrospect.”

“That criticism addressed to us has been eased reflects the Western counterparts have realized that the policy they had been conducting along these lines was doomed to fail,” he added.

Commenting on the western response to the liberation of eastern Aleppo, Lavrov said that “they have gone quieter somewhat lately.”

“They must’ve realized that the situation in eastern Aleppo is in no way different from the situation in Iraq’s Mosul,” he said, adding that “the West is currently urging civilians to leave Mosul, because the city has to be cleared of terrorists. The same task – that of recapturing Aleppo from terrorists – faces the Syrian army we support.”

Lavrov considered that Moscow and Ankara acknowledge the necessity of combating terrorism in Syria, putting the political settlement in its normal track, ensuring the settlement of the humanitarian issues and delivering aid to needy people.

The diplomat said all this must be implemented in accordance with the agreements that were earlier reached within the framework of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and on the basis of Resolution 2254 of the UN Security Council.

In another context, Lavrov said that Russian Forces and the Syrian Army have nothing to do with the incident with the deaths of the Turkish servicemen near the Syrian city of al-Bab last week, and the Turkish side understands that, adding that this issue was discussed immediately after the incident by representatives at various levels.

“There is a common understanding that Russia and the Syrian Air Force have nothing to do with it. However, of course, we need to continue to establish coordination to make sure that we focus on the stated objectives, namely, the fight against terrorists,” said Lavrov.

“We have coordination aimed at avoiding unintentional incidents with the US-led coalition, and Turkey is part of it,” Lavrov noted, adding that “so I believe it is necessary to verify through these channels who carried out flights.”

M. al-Frieh/H. Said

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