Zakharova: Western conspiracy of silence covers the real situation in Raqqa

Moscow, SANA-Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, said there is a clear conspiracy in the political circles and the Western media outlets to cover the real situation in Raqqa to avoid skepticism over Washington’s behaviors.

“An apparent conspiracy of silence, it is difficult to call it otherwise, is being shaped in the Western media and political circles regarding the true state of affairs in Raqqa,” Zakharova said during her weekly press briefing in Moscow on Friday.

“This is done in order not to discredit actions by Washington and its allies in Syria, who have no legal grounds for their presence in Syria. Concurrently, attempts continue to blow the issue out of proportion and distort developments in Eastern Ghouta and Idleb, which are part of the de-escalation zones set up in Syria,” she added.

The situation in the city of Raqqa “continues to be extremely difficult”, according to Zakharova.

“Significant parts of the city remain mine-laden. There is a huge amount of unexploded munitions, more than 80% of the buildings there have been decimated, and the city’s public water supply system is not working. Electricity is available only in certain districts. Many corpses remain under the rubble, and the threat of an epidemic breaking out is huge.The relevant UN agencies have so far been unable to evaluate the situation, and there are no conditions for civilians to return to the city,” she stressed.

“The reasons for that are obvious. These are indiscriminate military actions by the so-called US-led coalition countering Daesh. Later, some local administration scheme was concocted, which is not controlled by the legitimate Syrian government in Damascus,” Zakharova added.

Commenting on the US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East affairs David Satterfield saying that the US has no intention of recognizing the Syrian National Dialogue Congress to be held in Sochi as legitimate, Zakharova confirmed that the United States is trying to block the holding of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in the Russian city of Sochi.

She added that Russia still proceeds from the fact that the Syrian National Dialogue Congress will be held in Sochi in late January.

“To date, we assume it to be held in late January,” the diplomat said, answering a question on the terms for the event. “Work on the lists of participants is currently underway,” she said, adding that “as soon as we are able to confirm the precise date and lists of those invited, we will surely do it.”

She affirmed that the provocations by Jabhat al-Nusra militants’ attacks on the Russian military’s deployment sites have intensified substantially in the first days of 2018, adding that these attacks raise questions, especially at a time when the trend towards stabilizing the political situation in Syria is being strengthened and conditions are being created to achieve a political settlement and return the country to a peaceful life.

Manar/ Ghossoun

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