Rus­sia says Daesh op­er­ates near US base in Syria un­hin­dered

Syr­ian FM: US coali­tion spar­ing Daesh in Syria

Iran Daily - - International -

Rus­sia ac­cused the United States on Wednesday of al­low­ing Daesh to op­er­ate “un­der its nose” in Syria, say­ing Wash­ing­ton was let­ting the ter­ror group move about freely in an area abut­ting a US mil­i­tary base.

The al­le­ga­tions, made by Rus­sia’s De­fense Min­istry, cen­ter on a US mil­i­tary base at Tanf, a strate­gic Syr­ian high­way bor­der cross­ing with Iraq in the south of the coun­try, Reuters wrote.

Rus­sia says the US base is il­le­gal and that it and the area around it have be­come “a black hole” where ter­ror­ists op­er­ate un­hin­dered.

The United States says the Tanf fa­cil­ity is a tem­po­rary base used to train part­ner forces to fight against Daesh. Pen­tagon spokesman Colonel Robert Man­ning on Tues­day said Wash­ing­ton re­mained com­mit­ted to killing off Daesh and deny­ing it safe havens and the abil­ity to carry out strikes.

But Ma­jor Gen­eral Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Rus­sian De­fense Min­istry, said Moscow wanted to know how around 300 Daesh ter­ror­ists in pickup trucks had passed through the Us-con­trolled area and tried to block the high­way between Da­m­as­cus and Deir ez-zor used to sup­ply Syr­ian forces. He said the US had not yet given an ex­pla­na­tion. “We sug­gest the Amer­i­can side also ex­plain about an­other in­ci­dence of their ‘selec­tive blind­ness’ to­wards ter­ror­ists op­er­at­ing un­der their nose,” Konashenkov said in a state­ment.

He said about 600 ter­ror­ists based in a refugee camp in the US con­trolled area had driven en masse to a former cus­toms post called Tafas on the Syr­ian-jor­da­nian bor­der ear­lier this month and seized food and med­i­cal sup­plies meant for lo­cals.

“You don’t need to be an ex­pert to now fore­cast an at­tempt to rup­ture the peace agree­ment in the south­ern deesca­la­tion zone,” said Konashenkov.

“We is­sue a warn­ing. All re­spon­si­bil­ity for sab­o­tag­ing the peace process will lay ex­clu­sively with the Amer­i­can side.”

Mean­while, the Syr­ian for­eign min­is­ter ac­cused the Us-led coali­tion of wreaking de­struc­tion in Syria while spar­ing the Daesh ter­ror group, re­ported.

Walid al-muallem said dur­ing a visit to Rus­sia on Wednesday that the Us-led coali­tion has been “me­thod­i­cally de­stroy­ing all ex­cept Daesh.” He said Wash­ing­ton aims to de­stroy Syria’s econ­omy and drag the war out.

Muallem said the Kurds are now vy­ing for con­trol of oil­fields in eastern Syria and warned that Syria will re­assert its sovereignty over the area.

The Us-led coali­tion has been con­duct­ing airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh tar­gets in­side Syria since Septem­ber 2014 with­out any au­tho­riza­tion from the Da­m­as­cus govern­ment or a UN man­date.

The mil­i­tary al­liance has re­peat­edly been ac­cused of tar­get­ing and killing civil­ians. It has also been largely in­ca­pable of achiev­ing its de­clared goal of de­stroy­ing Daesh.


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