MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. Moscow is alarmed by concrete military efforts that are being taken in the context of a stated goal to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Wednesday when a reporter asked him to comment on a statement by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan said earlier that the toppling of the Syrian leader was the goal of the Turkish troops' operation on the Syrian territory.
"We've never harbored any illusions as regards the objectives the US and some of its allies are pursuing, particularly in that region, in the process of wielding their policy towards Syria, let's put it this way," Ryabkov said. "No one has ever made secrets of this objective, it has been stated many a time at various levels, including at the top level in Washington and Ankara where it is said they don't see a future for Syria under Assad."
"That's why there isn't any new element in the situation from a meaningful point of view but it's another thing they're streamlining concrete military efforts now for the purpose of a regime change in Damascus," he said.
"This implies certain forceful actions and operations that can take place in the current context and the fact is certainly bothering us," Ryabkov said.
He stressed definite changes in the overall situation unfolding in the past few days in Aleppo in what concerns the evacuation of peaceful civilians.
"Without any doubt, it proves and reaffirms the full conformity of the goals made public by Russia in Syria to what is happening on the ground," Ryabkov said.
"We’re fighting with terrorism there; we’re trying in every possible way, with every step we’re making to alleviate the humanitarian situation," he said.
"And like four years ago when the basic Geneva communique of June 30, 2012, was in the making, we uphold firm positions as regards who will govern Syria in the future and what it means from the point of view of resolving internal Syrian problems," Ryabkov said.
"It’s hypocritical and immoral to rebuke Moscow and to say it’s doing something that impedes precisely this turn of events and obstructs moves in precisely this direction," he said. "Only the people who’re trying to cover themselves up with the actions of others, who are engaging in the notorious social and political engineering in the Middle East, who have brought so many woes to Libya and Iraq can do this."
"That’s why signals of this kind are alarming, although I’d like to say once again we think differently from a long range of other countries, including Turkey, of course, when it comes to Syria’s future and the structure of its political organization," Ryabkov said.