US officials are going all out to destroy Russian-Turkish relations by disseminating baseless accusations, a Russian Foreign Ministry source told TASS, reacting on the US claims that Russia has killed dozens of Turkish soldiers in Syria.
“Even during a global pandemic, US officials continue with their unabated anti-Russian campaign propagating baseless, malicious information.
Citing US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo during the March 17 media briefing where he held Moscow accountable for the death of Turkish soldiers” the source said, “Unfortunately, in a bid to drive a wedge between Russia and Turkey, who are cooperating in Syria, US officials are resorting to plain lies.”
According to the Russian diplomat, it was Washington who fired the conflict in Syria by aggressively backing any group waging a war against the legitimate Syrian government, while Russia and Turkey “are trying to bring stability in the region. “Provocative statements coming from Washington demonstrate once again that they want the war in Syria to continue,” he added.
“By the way, Pompeo’s words of support to Ankara (over Idlib) lead to a simple question: does this mean that while counting on help from its NATO ally Turkey in western Syria, where they want the current instability to be preserved, Washington notoriously betrays them in the east of the country, in Kurdish regions which the Turks see as a threat to their security,” the source continued. “We are assured that Ankara sees through Washington’s hypocrisy and double standards.”
The Russian diplomat said that Syria’s eastern region continues to remain under US control who “continue to shelter the ISIS and other terror groups and promote separatism among Kurds in an attempt to threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.”
Earlier, the United States for the first time directly held Russia accountable for the deaths of dozens of Turkish troops in Syria. An airstrike last month in the Idlib region killed 34 Turkish soldiers, although Ankara blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the assault.
Mike Pompeo, announcing new sanctions on Syrian officials, placed blame on Russia, which along with Iran has backed Assad in his bloody quest to crush rebels. “We believe Russia has killed dozens of Turkish military personnel in the course of their military operation,” Pompeo told reporters, without naming a specific incident.
“We stand with our NATO ally Turkey and will consider additional measures that support Turkey at the end of the violence,” he said.