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Russian expert says it was unwise of US to break cooperation with Russia in Syria

October 05, 4:45 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Syrian opposition groups receive weapons from the United States and have been saturated with weapons so much that they can continue fighting for years, Vitaly Naumkin said
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Vitaly Naumkin

Vitaly Naumkin

© Anton Novoderejkin/TASS

MOSCOW, October 5. /TASS/. It was unwise of the United States to break down the Syria ceasefire deal and sever cooperation with Russia on this track, a Russian expert said on Tuesday.

"The American are making a big blunder unacceptable for diplomacy, for politics by closing channels of cooperation with a major player in this field," Vitaly Naumkin, director of science at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Oriental Studies and a senior political adviser to United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.

"Moreover, they hope to decline all responsibility and shift it onto Russia. They hope to be playing with some of the regional players who are interested in avoiding political settlement. So, they are supporting and helping such players but as a matter of fact they are helping militans, directly or indirectly," he said.

In such conditions, according to the Russian expert, Islamic State (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) is feeling comfortable in areas controlled by its militants whereas another terrorist group, Jabhat al-Nusra, has long merged with various so-called moderate groups which cannot go on fighting without it.

Now, only Russia and the Syrian government army are conducting real war on terrorists in Syria while the Americans cannot and do not want to separate moderate opposition from terrorists, Naumkin stressed.

Opposition groups receive weapons from the US

The United States is pumping weapons into the Syrian moderate opposition and is waging a controlled war of attrition in a bid to squeeze Russia from the region, a Russian expert said.

"Syrian opposition groups receive weapons from the United States and have been saturated with weapons so much that they can continue fighting for years to come even if arms supplies are stopped now," Vitaly Naumkin, director of science at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Oriental Studies and a senior political adviser to United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.

"The Americans are seeking to dodge a peace settlement with Russia being a beneficiary and a major partner that could take the credit for it," he said.

"The United States, taking into account its strength, can afford to continue the war in Syria for a long time, the more so as the war is very limited," the expert noted. "They pump weapons into the moderate opposition and these weapons are spreading into terrorist organizations. If the Americans do not get into Syria with their troops, which is highly improbable, they can go on fighting for long and this is what they stake on. It is a war of attrition."

Along with the United States, according to Naumkin, protracting the war in Syria is in the interests of some of the regional players "who care little about Syria and the Syrians but who seek their own geopolitical goals, such as to squeeze out Russia or create a situation of unacceptable material and human losses for it.".

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