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Russia, Iran true friends of Syrians — Syrian foreign minister

"All Syrians — the people, the army and the government — will not relent in their fight against terrorism," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem Artyom Korotayev/TASS
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem
© Artyom Korotayev/TASS

THE UNITED NATIONS, September 24. /TASS/. Russia and Iran are true friends of the Syrians and have helped make "great strides" in the war against terrorism, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Saturday, addressing the UN General Assembly.

The foreign minister said with certainty that despite foreign financial aid to armed groups, "all Syrians — the people, the army and the government — will not relent in their fight against terrorism."

"They are determined, more than ever before, to eliminate terrorism wherever it exists in their country and to rebuild a better Syria, because they are well aware that their homeland will cease to exist if the terrorists and their backers emerge victorious," al-Moualem said.

"Our belief in victory is even greater now that the Syrian Arab Army is making great strides in its war against terrorism, with the support of the true friends of the Syrian people, notably the Russian Federation, Iran, and the Lebanese national resistance. Such support has helped strengthen the resilience of Syrians and alleviate their suffering. We truly hope that other countries will wake up and realize, before it is too late, the danger that threatens us all," he said, citing data of the Firil Center for Studies. Its study says that since April 2011 over 360,000 terrorists from 83 countries have crossed into Syria.

"By the end of 2015, the Syrian Army was able to kill 95,000 of those, while 120,000 returned home or traveled to other countries," al-Moualem said.

He claims that Syria fights against terrorism on behalf on the whole world.

"Every time the Syrian Army kills another foreign terrorist, it spares the lives of many innocent people who could have died in a terrorist act carried out by the same terrorist upon returning to his country. Anyone who seeks to distort this fact must be held responsible for the spread of terrorism and the increasing numbers of victims," he went on to say, noting the Syrian army deserved to "be commended and supported. It must never be the target of schemes and lies."

Besides, the Syrian foreign minister warned that any international efforts to counter terrorism in Syria should be coordinated with the country’s government.

"Without such coordination, any action would be considered a breach of sovereignty, a flagrant interference, and a violation of the principles and purposes of the (UN) Charter," he said.

In this regard, al-Moualem condemned the Turkish incursion into the Syrian territory and accused the United States and their allies of complicity with Islamic State and other terrorist organizations, referring to the air strike delivered by the US-led coalition on the Syrian forces in the city of Deir ez-Zor on September 17. The Syrian Army command said that over 60 servicemen were killed and 100 more were wounded in that air strike.

Earlier on Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the United States had admitted the incident was caused by an error and extended their apologies through Russia to the Syrians.