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Lavrov accuses US of refusing to hold military coordination with Russia on Syria

January 26, 14:33 UTC+3
There is no answer to proposal of organizing daily coordination
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© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. The United States is refusing to hold coordination with Russia on military issues in Syria, failing to act seriously and in an adult-like manner, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference on the results of the past year on Tuesday.

"John Kerry said in a telephone talk on inter-Syrian negotiations that some gestures should be made because the opposition in Riyadh will not go anywhere ‘as long as they are bombed for nothing," Lavrov said.

"We proposed to the US to organize daily coordination but there is no answer. And then they say: ‘You’re bombing the wrong people.’ I’m at a loss. This is not a serious, adult-like talk. We have confirmed that our proposals on daily coordination remain in force and it is necessary to establish it and not simply to perform procedures helping avoid incidents," the foreign minister said.

"Our Aerospace Force is re-checking targets for operation in Syria and everything is being done to get convinced that there are no civilians there," the Russian foreign minister said.

"If we take international law, then the Geneva conventions and protocols to them do not allow the use of the state’s force at objectives where there may be civilians. If such US plans [about a permissible number of victims among civilians during air strikes in Syria] are in place, this is a violation of international humanitarian law," Lavrov said.

"I’m not sure that the US takes part in these documents like in a number of others," the Russian foreign minister said.

"There are many claims to that country on the application of international law standards," he said.

"Anything can happen at war but our Defense Ministry is telling ultimately sincerely about the Syria operation," the Russian foreign minister said.

"But we have never been given any proofs," Lavrov said.

Russia’s aviation grouping has been delivering air strikes against the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria since September 30 at the request of Syria’s President Bashar Assad.

From November 17, the Russian aviation grouping in Syria switched to delivering massive strikes against militants, including with the involvement of strategic bombers. As the Russian Defense Ministry reported, Russia’s air grouping has focused on destroying terrorist-controlled oil extraction, storage, transportation and refining facilities.

Since 2014, the US-led coalition has also been delivering air strikes against militants in Syria and Iraq

Moscow and Washington earlier signed a memorandum on safe flights over Syria to prevent any air incidents between warplanes of the Russian air group and the US-led coalition.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has numerously urged foreign counterparts to exchange information on targets in Syria but the Pentagon has repeatedly said that it won’t provide reconnaissance data to Russia as long as Moscow supports Assad.

Meanwhile, Russia and France agreed in late November on coordinating their activities against terrorists.

The Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, convened on September 30 to approve Russian President Vladimir Putin’s request for the use of the country’s armed forces in Syria against the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groupings.

On the same day, Russia’s Air and Space Force started to deliver the first pinpointed air strikes against the militants’ positions. The Russian aviation grouping comprises more than 50 aircraft and helicopters, including the Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-24M bombers, Su-25 attack aircraft, Su-30SM fighters and Mil Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters.

Also, overnight to October 7, the Caspian Flotilla ships delivered a massive strike on the IS objectives in Syria, using Kalibr NK shipborne cruise missiles.

The Russian authorities have said on many occasions that Russia’s armed forces would not take part in any ground operation in Syria.

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