Viktor Bondarev, head of the Federation Council committee on defense and security, said that Russia will help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad oppose attempts to destabilize the country. Bondarev made a statement to this effect when commenting on the topic of US instructors training militants in Syria, RIA Novosti reports.
“I am convinced that Bashar al-Assad has enough forces to oppose this, not to let anyone at all plunge the country back into chaos. For its part, Russia will help,” Bondarev said. He noted that the Russian forces would defend their base in Khmeimim. In addition, he observed that Russia is planning to develop the port in Tartus, in order to turn it into a “full-fledged naval base”.
The Federation Council member said that the US “tried to break Libya apart”, but Syria “managed to escape such a sad fate”. “The US is not happy with this, since so many funds were used to instigate the conflict,” Bondarev said. He noted that the US’s willingness “not to interfere” with Assad’s reign until 2021 is “nonsense”, because Washington is “dictating to a sovereign country concerning its internal affairs”. In Bondarev’s opinion, the US wants to “save face”, and it cannot “acknowledge its own geopolitical defeat”.
On Saturday, December 17, the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria reported that US special forces instructors are creating a “new Syrian army” in the refugee camp in the province of Al-Hasakah, whose members will be relocated to the south of the Arab republic after training, in order to fight the Syrian army. According to the Russian center, there are 750 militants around the camp who have arrived from Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor, Abu-Kamal and from the eastern territories.
Russia claims that 400 members of the Islamic State terrorist organization make up the primary force of this group. In the center’s opinion, they “set out unhindered from Raqqa in a vehicle convoy in October with US support”.