In recent days, the situation in parts of Syria has decayed, particularly in Idlib province, where Russia’s Aerospace Forces have been attacking jihadists from the Nusra Front terrorist group (outlawed in Russia), which hit an aircraft during its Saturday overflight of the Idlib de-escalation zone. On Monday, the so-called “Media Office of the Syrian Negotiation Commission” (SNC) condemned the escalation of tensions in Idlib.
“Media campaigns attacking Russia are based entirely on unreliable media materials, especially by parties that have a recurrent history in fabricating news and ‘facts’… these media campaigns are primarily aimed at trying to minimize the beneficial outcomes of the Sochi Conference,” the Moscow platform’s statement said, commenting on the media office’s recent remarks.
According to its press service, the Moscow platform was not included in outlining the Monday comments, because there had not been an agreement on the issue between the members of the SNC. The move was not the initiative of the SNC, but of its media office that had overstepped its power, the platform’s press service said.
“These campaigns ignored Turkey’s failure to comply with the Astana agreements for the Idlib region, and its continued failure to implement its commitments against Al-Nusra Front. Campaigns have completely ignored any reference to Al-Nusra Front as the primary target of Russian raids. While ‘media wailing’ on Idlib has risen, there has been no serious condemnation of the continued Turkish aggression in Afrin and other Syrian areas,” the Syrian opposition group added.
The statement notified that the United States was in the middle of these movements to interrupt the UN-mediated settlement process, including by way of reviving the “issue of the Syrian chemical weapons,” but that Washington’s attempts would not be effective.
On January 30, Sochi hosted the Syrian National Dialogue Congress. The main result of the event was the creation of the commission that will work in Geneva and focus on improving Syria’s existing constitution. The participants of the Congress also ratified a final communique defending general principles of the future statehood of Syria, such as the country’s territorial integrity and respect for all religious and ethnic groups’ rights.
In January, Syrian opposition reported the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government forces in eastern Ghouta. Shortly thereafter, US State Secretary Rex Tillerson affirmed that Damascus might still be using chemical weapons, saying that, regardless of who had conducted the attacks, Russia ultimately bore responsibility for the victims because of the country’s involvement in Syria. In turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry, citing unconfirmed information on the chemical attacks, accused the United States of spreading mass propaganda against Russia and attempting to demonize the Syrian government before subsequently overthrowing it.
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