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US strike on pro-government forces violates Syria’s sovereignty — Lavrov

June 07, 14:30 UTC+3

"This causes our concern," Russia's top diplomat said

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MOSCOW, June 7. /TASS/. The US-led coalition’s airstrike on pro-government forces in Syria is an act of aggression, which violates the country’s sovereignty, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

"Of course, this is an aggressive act, which violates the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and which voluntarily or involuntarily targeted those forces that represent the most effective forces struggling with terrorists on the ground. This causes our concern," Lavrov said.

"There was information and I believe that it was close to reality that these pro-government forces were advancing to the relevant area to prevent the destruction of two bridges linking Syria with Iraq," the Russian foreign minister said.

Terrorists of the Islamic State terrorist organization (outlawed in Russia) wanted to blow up these bridges and, "as a result, they blew them up," Lavrov said.

"If this information is true and, to all appearances, it is true, then the strikes were delivered against the forces that wanted to prevent the terrorists’ intentions to destroy possibilities for communication between Syria and Iraq," the Russian foreign minister said.

The Air Force of the US-led anti-terrorist coalition in Syria on Tuesday delivered an airstrike on the pro-Damascus forces in a zone of de-escalation in Syria’s south, the staff of the Inherent Resolve operation said in a statement.

It claimed that the government forces' tanks, artillery, air defense systems, and about 60 soldiers had entered one de-escalation zone. However, their entry allegedly posed a supposed threat to the Western coalition's forces and its 'partners' located on Al-Tanf base.

The statement said the coalition had issued several warnings through conflict prevention channels and then destroyed two artillery pieces and damaged a tank.

The staff of the operation reaffirmed the absence of plans to fight with the Syrian government troops or with the government of President Bashar Assad but said the coalition was prepared to defend itself if the forces loyal to Damascus refused to pull out of the de-escalation zone.

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