Russia’s Foreign Ministry believes that the withdrawal of US troops from Syria recently announced by President Donald Trump will pave the way for political resolution in the country. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a Channel One broadcast that, in light of the negotiations in Astana, the Americans have understood that they are “playing against themselves”.
Moscow also expressed hope for the resolution of the situation in Al-Tanf in southern Syria, where there are also US troops, and for the success of the constitutional court, which is preparing to establish a new Syrian constitution and hold general elections in the country, TASS reports.
During a press conference on December 19 (before Trump announced the withdrawal of troops), Zakharova accused the US of effectively occupying a significant part of Syria in the region of the Al-Tanf base, which is not far from the Jordanian border. She also noted that there is a camp of illegal armed formations in this zone.
Moscow has repeatedly said that the US forces are in Syria illegally, because they were not invited by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia obtained an official invitation from Damascus to station its troops in the country.
On December 19, Trump said that the American troops have done their job in Syria, and that there is no more reason for them to remain there. The withdrawal of a two thousand strong contingent was later announced by White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders and Defense Department spokesperson Dana White. According to various estimates, the withdrawal of the contingent from Syria could take up to 100 days.
Amid these plans, Washington promised to help its allies in the anti-terrorist coalition if necessary, and reaffirmed its resolution to wipe out the last Islamic State stronghold on the eastern shore of the Euphrates.