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Russia says US reinforcing military presence in Syria


US soldiers fold a flag after returning from patrol to a remote combat outpost known as RLZ in northeastern Syria, May 25, 2021. (File photo by AFP)

Russia says the United States is reinforcing its military presence in Syria, despite calls by the Damascus government for the withdrawal of US troops.

“There is such information… that the US is strengthening its military contingent in northeastern Syria, as well as in al-Tanf, which has been illegally occupied by them for quite a long time,” Alexander Lavrentiev, the Russian president’s special envoy for Syria, was cited by RIA news agency as saying on Thursday.

He said Washington sought to “destabilize” Syria.

According to his remarks, the US forces continue to collaborate with terrorist groups in Syria with the aim of carrying out acts of terror in the Syrian territory.

Since 2014, the US has deployed forces and military equipment in Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate under the pretext of fighting Daesh. The Takfiri terrorist group had emerged as Washington was running out of excuses to extend its regional meddling or enlarge it in scale.

American forces sustain their illegal presence on the Syrian soil, although Damascus and its allies defeated Daesh in late 2019.

The US military claims its presence in Syria is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh.

Damascus, however, maintains the deployment is meant to plunder the country’s natural resources. Former President Donald Trump of the United States admitted on several occasions that American forces were in the Arab country for its oil wealth.

Russia has assisted Syrian forces in battles across the conflict-plagued country, mainly by providing aerial support to ground operations against foreign-backed terrorists.

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