Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Russian and Syrian efforts to eradicate terrorism in Syria

Moscow has taken note of a statement made by US Secretary of State’s Special Envoy for Syria Joel Rayburn to the effect that Russia and the Assad regime are aggravating the problem of terrorism in Syria. He has accused Moscow and Damascus, without any substantiation, of involvement in the bombing and artillery raids on Idlib, which allegedly do not target terrorists but innocent civilians, infrastructure and armed opposition groups. He has also said that he believes that Russia and the Damascus regime are not doing enough to combat terrorism.

We are not going to let such statements go unanswered. It is obvious that the increasingly positive dynamics on the ground in Syria remains a concern for the legitimate Damascus government’s ill-wishers. This is not the first time that such accusations have been made against the Russian and Syrian military within the framework of a large-scale campaign waged by the United States and its allies to promote fake news and allegations. Meanwhile, it was as a result of Russia’s decisive contribution that a deadly blow has been delivered to international terrorism in Syria.

At present, a sustainable ceasefire is maintained in Syria. The Syrian Army, supported by Russia’s Aerospace Forces, reciprocates the armed provocations launched by the radical illegal armed groups on the border of the Idlib de-escalation zone, and continues to conduct local counterterrorism operations in the desert regions of east Syria. The ISIS groups entrenched there regularly make daring attacks on the positions of the Syrian Army and Russian military personnel. The fight against terrorists in Syria will continue until their complete elimination.

We reaffirm our readiness to cooperate on Syria with all interested countries, including the United States, in particular when it comes to combating terrorism. We are open to any initiative for developing direct interaction channels between the concerned agencies. This could really help the cause. We urge our international and regional partners to redouble constructive collective efforts on Syria in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254, instead of sabotaging them by making unsubstantiated accusations and chanting vacuous political mantras.