By Kamila Aliyeva
Russia has called on the United States to coordinate its actions with partners in resolving the situation in Syria.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced about this on June 19, when commenting on the U.S.' boosting of its presence in southern Syria.
He said that all actions in Syria need to be coordinated with legitimate Syrian authorities, "especially when it comes to the occupation of certain territories in Syria, including those that could prompt questions from the point of view of the true intentions of those who carry out such seizures [of territory]."
“De-escalation zones are one of the possible options to jointly move forward. We call on everyone to avoid unilateral moves, respect Syrian sovereignty and join our common work which is agreed with the Syrian Arab Republic's government,” the minister said.
Moscow calls on Washington to respect Syrian territorial integrity and the country's sovereignty according to the UNSC 2254 resolution and other documents, the Russian top diplomat said.
Lavrov reminded that this is exactly what Russia, Iran and Turkey do when they offer initiatives in the framework of the Astana talks.
The U.S.-led coalition against ISIS operates in Syria without the permission of Damascus. On June 18, the Syrian army said that the U.S.-led coalition had brought down its aircraft in southern Raqqa countryside when it was fulfilling its mission against Daesh.
Later, the coalition confirmed the information saying that it shot down the Syrian government forces' Su-22 aircraft as it had allegedly been bombing in an area where U.S.-backed rebel forces, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), were stationed, south of Tabqa in the Raqqa province. The US-led coalition called its attack on the Syrian army's jet "collective self-defense," adding that it contacted the Russian military to de-escalate the situation after the incident.
Lavrov also revealed the date of the next round of the Astana talks on Syria, which UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura intends to attend.
"The next meeting will be held in Astana on July 10, and Secretary-General’s special representative Staffan de Mistura will participate in it. The parties agreed to finalize the coordination of specific parameters of modalities for ensuring the regime that should exist in de-escalation zones and along their perimeter at this meeting, he said.
To date, four rounds of negotiations on the ongoing Syrian conflict were held in the Astana, on January 23-24, February 15-16, March 14-15 and May 3-4.
During the most recent round, the guarantor countries of a nationwide Syrian ceasefire regime — Russia, Iran, and Turkey — agreed to establish four safety zones across the country.
The civil war in Syria between government and opposition with various terrorist groups involved, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), began back in March 2011.
Syrian President Bashar Assad managed to turn the tide of war in his favor after Russia started an air campaign in September 2015, while Iran is an uncompromising supporter of the Syrian leader.
According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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