Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
13th March, 2016
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, declared that the Syrian authorities refused the US’ claims to legitimacy of its operations before the Russian military began its own operation. “Interfax” reported that he said this in an interview with “Ren-TV”.
“When we established contact with the American coalition in Washington and agreed to cooperate to avoid unforeseen and unintended incidents in the air, and then, more recently, on the coordination of issues related to the deepening and strengthening of the ceasefire and delivery of humanitarian assistance, the Syrian government adopted such a formula and believed that if this is done with the participation of Russia, Syria’s sovereignty will not be violated”, he said.
The US-led coalition’s operations began in September 2014. Furthermore, Washington did not request permission from Syrian authorities: it was argued that the government of Bashar al-Assad is not legitimate.
Damascus and Moscow have repeatedly declared the illegitimacy of the operations. The Russian and Iranian military’s presence in the region was possible after gaining the consent of Damascus.
[O.R: Just to clear up any confusion: The US suggested to Russia to split the task in Syria so that Russia will focus on Palmyra, and the US will focus on Raqqa. Assad is fine with this so long as the US conducts its operations according to Moscow’s blueprint.]