Russian Foreign Ministry Calls for Looking into US-Led Coalition’s New Attack in Syria

NOVOSIBIRSK- The situation surrounding the recent US-led coalition’s attack in Syria should be sorted out, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said, pointing to the need to wait for Damascus to voice its position.

"I believe that at the moment it is important to figure out what actually happened there, compare the clarifications which are sure to follow with the information our military definitely has, as well as with the assessment that Damascus will provide," Ryabkov said, according to Itar Tass.

The senior Russian diplomat pointed out that he had many times "seen situations when the US-led coalition’s use of military force either was unnecessary or led to collateral damage, over which the coalition member states expressed regret but it did not change the situation." Ryabkov once again emphasized the need to receive clarification from the US and other coalition members.

 "The legitimacy of goals is a most complicated matter. We all remember the April incident when a missile attack was carried out on the Syrian Shayrat air base following a staged chemical weapons incident, which turned out to be an act of aggression against Syria," the Russian deputy foreign minister pointed out. "At the same time, we have always said that eliminating terrorist infrastructure facilities and terror groups active in Syria, who pose a threat to the entire Middle East and the whole world, is a completely legitimate goal," he added.

Ryabkov stated that Russia had always been and would remain ready to cooperate with the United States in that area.

US Military Presence in Syria a Serious Challenge to Settlement Process  

The US military presence in Syria presents a serious challenge to the settlement process and thwarts the protection of the country's territorial integrity, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova said Thursday, a day after the US-led coalition struck Syrian popular forces fighting Desh terrorist organization, according to Sputnik.

"A 55-kilometer zone unilaterally created by Americans around their military base near al-Tanf is being used by the scattered units of Daesh terrorists," Zakharova said during the weekly briefing, stressing that the extremists have the opportunity to hide from the government forces in the area as well as regroup and prepare for new raids in the Syrian deserts.

She went on to underscore that the US presence remains "a serious challenge to the promotion of peace in Syria and the protection of its unity and territorial integrity."

"Some influential external players are apparently not using the opportunities they have to promote a political settlement in Syria and facilitate the elimination of terrorists on Syrian soil."

Russian MoD: US Seeks Control Over Syria's Economic Assets

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday that the Syrian popular forces were carrying out an anti-Daesh operation near the Al-Isba oil refinery in Deir Ezzor province when they were attacked by the US-led coalition's aircraft.

"While carrying out the task, popular forces were subjected to sudden mortar shelling and artillery rocket fire; after that the helicopters of the US-led international coalition struck them," the statement reads.

Scores of the targeted popular forces' members  were wounded in the attack.

The Defense Ministry highlighted that the attack showcased that the real goal behind Washington's "illegal military presence in Syria" is control over the country's economic assets rather than defeating the terrorist group Daesh.

The US-led coalition has claimed that the attack was a retaliation for an "unprovoked attack" by pro-government forces on the what it called "headquarters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)", its allies in the region.

The Syrian state TV has slammed the incident as "new aggression" by the US and "an attempt to support terrorism."

The US-led coalition of over 60 states has been conducting a military operation in Syria without the consent of the country's government or UN approval.