Russia Laughs Off US Claims It Defeated ISIS, Does Not Trust US Withdrawal From Syria

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MOSCOW, Russia – The presence of United States forces in Syria does not contribute to a political and diplomatic solution to the crisis in the Arab country, spokesman for the Russian presidency Dmitry Peskov said.

“The presence of the US forces on the Syrian soil does not help reach the political and diplomatic settlement. Of course, the involvement of Washington in the relevant talks under the UN bumbershoot, the harmonious work of the US officials with [UN Envoy for Syria Staffan] de Mistura in the interests of this settlement would contribute to reaching this final goal,” Peskov told Russia’s Channel One.

According to Peskov, the main efforts around Syria at the moment are focused on forming the commission that will rewrite the country’s constitution, which for the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, can be completed early next year.

US President Donald Trump’s claims that Moscow, Damascus and Tehran would be unhappy with the withdrawal of US forces from Syria, as they would have to fight without such support, however the Russian presidency spokesman recalled that the The United States has operated illegally in Syria and several areas under US control have been hit by humanitarian disasters and terrorist weapons.

The spokesman also recalled that the US forces were “always withdrawing from some places,” like Afghanistan and Iraq where the US troops remain stationed for years.

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Russia is not prone to overestimating the role of the United States in defeating Daesh [ISIS] in Syria, Peskov also said.

According to the spokesman, the United States’ chaotic and unpredictable decision-making is causing discomfort and concern in international affairs.

“Stability and predictability is what Russia is looking for in all directions of its foreign policy. Stability and predictability are what all countries welcome. And when stability gives way to unpredictability, surprise and such, I would say, chaos in certain decisions, it causes both discomfort and concern in international affairs. This applies not only to Russia, this applies to all countries,” he said.

Peskov elaborated that Moscow still had no clear understanding of Washington’s further steps in Syria and wanted more information about the planned withdrawal of US troops, announced by President Donald Trump earlier this week.

“The opinion is as follows, first, we need to understand how, when, where the Americans go, this is not yet clear. Second, we need to understand what the next phase is, nobody knows this either. Third, Russia, in fact, is the country that legitimately, under international law and at the request of Syria, assisted Syrians in freeing their country from international terrorism.”

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