[ Ed. note – I don’t know if the Russians have stopped thinking of the US as their “partners” or not, but these are the strongest words I’ve heard yet from any Russian official. A full transcript of the interview is available at the Russian Foreign Ministry website, where the words “bloody provocations” are translated as “fatal provocations”, but it amounts to pretty much the same thing. Maybe the death of a Russian general has in some respect been a wake-up call and caused Russian leaders to alter their view of the crisis in Syria and America’s role in it. ]
The Russian foreign minister has slammed the US for pursing a “double standard” approach towards the fight against terror in Syria, saying Washington encourages “bloody provocations” against Russian and Syrian government forces.
In an interview with the London-based, Arabic-language Asharq al-Awsat daily, published on Wednesday, Sergei Lavrov cast doubt on the activities of US-backed militants as well as the Washington-led coalition of countries engaged in what is said to be an anti-Daesh operation in Syria.
“In some cases, these [US-led] forces have indirectly encouraged other terrorists to attack strategic positions rightfully regained by Damascus, or they have deliberately engaged in bloody provocations against our forces,” Lavrov said.
“In other cases, they inspire other terrorists to attack strategic locations over which official Damascus has restored its legitimate authority, or to stage fatal provocations against our military personnel,” he added.
The remarks came amid increased tensions in Syria’s Dayr al-Zawr Province between US-backed militants and Syrian government forces, who are backed by Russia.
Last month, the Russian Defense Ministry said that Syrian troops in Dayr al-Zawr had been twice targeted with mortar and rocket fire from the regions where the US-sponsored Syrian Democratic Forces are active.
Lavrov further criticized the US for failing to acknowledge that there is no distinction between terrorist groups which are wreaking havoc in Syria.