Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a press conference that U.S. military bases located in Syria do not have any kind of legal basis.
Lavrov recalled the words of CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who stated that one of the reasons for Russia’s involvement in Syria is that Russia loves to “stick it to America.” Pompeo also pointed out the lack of clear evidence that Russia really wants to defeat the Islamic State (which is banned in Russia).
“I heard around the same time, even read, that the U.S. has 10 bases in Syrian territory, so I guess, in a lot of ways, Mr. Pompeo wants the same thing that we do in Syria, only several times greater,” the Russian minister said in remarks quoted by RIA Novosti.
Lavrov also emphasized that another big difference is that Russia isn’t hiding their two bases from anyone. “They are established there and function according to international agreements, and their objective is to support the fight against terrorism, which there is still a lot of,” said the head of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, adding that “nonetheless, the United States’ bases keep a low profile and these bases have no legal basis, which is clear to everyone.”
Lavrov also touched on the creation of a de-escalation zone in the south of Syria. In his words, “the process of creating this zone continues, and the main parameters have already been discussed.” “Now, they’re finalizing the details, which involve how it will specifically function, in order to monitor the regime’s compliance in the cessation of military activities between government forces and armed opposition, and ensure unhindered humanitarian access,” the minister said. He added that “this project, which literally before our eyes, is creating and implementing the establishment of a southern de-escalation zone with the participation of Russia, the U.S., and Jordan, is, in my opinion, the best acknowledgement that when we work on specific actions, and not speculation, we can achieve results.”
“I think that in the near future this work will be completed,” the Russian minister of foreign affairs concluded.