MOSCOW, September 9. /TASS/. The practice of exchanging information on the situation in Syria between Russia and Israel has proven its usefulness and will be continued, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters at a news conference on Thursday following talks with Israel’s top diplomat Yair Lapid.
"Those practical issues that arise in this connection [on the situation in Syria] are discussed extensively by our [Russian and Israeli] militaries on a daily basis. I believe that this practice has proven its usefulness. Today we agreed that it would be continued," he said.
According to Lavrov, the situation in Syria remains challenging in many respects due to the fact that many countries’ interests are intertwined in that process. "There are legitimate interests, for example, such as security interests. <…> There are interests that are not quite legitimate, putting it mildly. I mean, first and foremost, the illegal occupation of a considerable part of Syria’s territory by the United States, the exploitation of natural resources and hydrocarbons, grain and water resources belonging to the Syrian people and, of course, the United States’ activities to connive with Kurdish separatism," he noted.
Russia’s top diplomat added that Moscow was opposed to turning Syria into an arena of confrontation between third countries. Taking into account all the realities, it is essential to move towards the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. "That integrity must be restored, which means foiling any attempts of separatism and moving towards the organization of an inclusive Syrian nationwide dialogue," he stressed.
Most of Syria’s Al-Hasakah, Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa provinces located in the east and northeast of the country are currently controlled by the US-backed Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces. The US command has created nine military bases in the area since 2015. Four of them are located near the oil fields in Deir ez-Zor and five others - in the neighboring Al-Hasakah province, which is considered to be Syria’s bread-basket. In late 2019, then US President Donald Trump approved a plan for several hundred US troops to remain in Syria, and one of their chief tasks will be to ensure control over oil fields in the northeast and east of the country.