Under the pretext of protecting Kurds, the US is setting up military bases and aerodromes in Syria’s east, which signals their intention to prolong the armed conflict, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told a press conference on Monday.
SANA news agency quoted Muallem as saying that the US is using its base in Al-Tanf on the Syrian-Iraqi border to train former members of the ISIL terrorist organization in order to include them later into units fighting against the Syrian army.
The foreign minister noted that the government forces and their allies are “the only real force fighting against ISIL groups and al-Nusra front extremist group on the Syrian territory.”
Muallem also said that terrorists from the al-Nusra group still remain in the area where the Idlib demilitarized zone should have been established.
“This is a signal that Ankara does not want to fulfill its obligations in the framework of Russian-Turkish agreements on Idlib,” he said.
The foreign minister noted that Idlib, located in 320 kilometers from Damascus, remains under the control of terrorists who are supported by Turkey and the West, Tass news agency reported.
“We remain in close coordination with Russian friends regarding the situation in Syria’s north-west,” he added. Muallem also reminded that the agreement on Idlib is temporary, and the Syrian government has a legal right to return the province under its sovereignty.
According to the Russian-Turkish memorandum signed in Sochi on September 17 after talks between the presidents of Russia and Turkey, the demilitarized zone 15-20 kilometers deep in Idlib should have been established by October 15. However, Turkey asked to postpone joint patrolling in Idlib due to its inability to guarantee security from its side.