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US setting up alternative government bodies in large parts of Syria — Lavrov

January 19, 23:55 UTC+3

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson earlier said that the "entire situation has been misportrayed, misdescribed"

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© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

UNITED NATIONS, January 19. /TASS/. The US has been setting up alternative government bodies in large parts of Syria in breach of its own obligations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a UN press conference on Friday.

"We have been receiving contradictory signals in this connection - a couple of days ago the Americans announced the establishment of border security forces in Syria, and today they said that they had been misunderstood as they had no plans to form such forces," he said. "But it is a fact that the US has been actually setting up alternative government bodies in large parts of Syria, which is contrary to the obligations in relation to Syria’s territorial integrity they have reaffirmed commitment to, particularly at the Security Council’s meetings. We are concerned about that," the Russian top diplomat added.

 

US plans

 

On January 14, US Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve's Director of Public Affairs Colonel Thomas Veale told TASS that the United States was training the Syrian border security service personnel, which was expected to reach a total strength of around 30,000.

Ibrahim Kalin, the Turkish president’s spokesman, said that Washington’s decision to train Kurdish troops to guard the Syrian-Turkish border was unacceptable.

The Pentagon later said the forces could not be described as an army, while US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the "entire situation has been misportrayed, misdescribed." "We are not creating a border security force at all," Tillerson said.

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