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Diplomat: Al-Nusra seeks to create autonomous authority in southern Syria with US support

April 19, 19:25 UTC+3

Russia’s representatives to the monitoring center set up in Amman have been informing Jordan and the United States of militant attacks on Syrian government units in these areas

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/updates with Zakharova’s quotes/

 

MOSOW, April 19. /TASS/. The Syrian opposition, the Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State terror groups (both outlawed in Russia) are trying to create an autonomous authority in southern Syria, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

"This information is true, we have been seen these tendencies," she said. "Over the past several weeks, the situation in southern Syria has been deteriorating. Despite the US statements, not only the Free Syrian Army, but Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State have also been playing a leading role in the Yarmouk River valley. Convoys allegedly carrying humanitarian aid regularly arrive through the Jordanian border but we know what kind of ‘humanitarian aid’ that is," Zakharova noted.

According to her, Russia’s representatives to the monitoring center set up in Amman have been informing Jordan and the United States of militant attacks on Syrian government units in these areas. "However, no one is taking any measures to improve the situation and eliminate terrorists," Zakharova said. "Under these circumstances, militants continue active steps to expand areas under their control," she added.

"In early April, Nusra’s operational command based in Daraa requested groups active in the Suwaida, Daraa and Quneitra provinces to coordinate their activities in order to launch a simultaneous offensive on Syrian government troops," the Russian diplomat pointed out. "Militants also planned to accuse the Syrian army of violating the ceasefire to justify their offensive, as well as to stage new provocations," she said.

Zakharova also said that the operation was aimed at creating an autonomous authority based in the city of Daraa.

A military diplomatic source said earlier that Jabhat al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army had trained over 12,000 militants and prepared hundreds of military hardware pieces for an offensive in the cities of Daraa and Al-Baath.

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