DAMASCUS, SYRIA (12:30 AM) – Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov has accused the US of attempting to set up “alternative government bodies” in large parts of Syria. Lavrov said this during a UN press conference on Friday.
“We have been receiving contradictory signals in this connection – a couple of days ago the Americans announced the establishment of border security forces in Syria, and today they said that they had been misunderstood as they had no plans to form such forces (…) But it is a fact that the US has been actually setting up alternative government bodies in large parts of Syria, which is contrary to the obligations in relation to Syria’s territorial integrity they have reaffirmed commitment to, particularly at the Security Council’s meetings. We are concerned about that,” the Foreign Minister said.
Last Sunday, Colonel Thomas Veale, who is the Director of Public Affairs of the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), the US-led military coalition interfering in the Syrian conflict, stated that the US was planning to build up a 30,000 man strong border security force consisting mainly out of Kurdish fighters.
The plan, which would constitute a violation of international law as it was not greenlighted by Damascus or mandated by the United Nations, was met with outrage by Syria and its international partners, as well as Turkey.
The Pentagon later issued a statement denying that the force would be an actual army, while US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later on completely denied the plan outright.
“The entire situation has been misportrayed, misdescribed (…) We are not creating a border security force at all,” Tillerson said.