Russia will not stop its operations in Syria before it defeats the terrorists, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday in a press conference in Muscat, Oman.
“The raids will not stop in Syria before we defeat terror groups like Al-Nusra and I don’t see a reason to stop,” Lavrov said.
US Secretary of State John Kerry previously said that Moscow must stop its military operations against the opposition troops in Syria since peace talks have started in Geneva between the Syrian regime and the opposition.
Lavrov also said it will be difficult to agree a ceasefire without controlling the Syrian-Turkish borders to stop the influx of new fighters. “Regarding a ceasefire, we have ideas and we spoke with the US, who head the Syria support group, and we look forward to discussing those ideas,” he said.
British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond said Tuesday that Russia may try to carve out an Alawite mini-state in Syria for its ally Bashar Al-Assad by bombing the opposition instead of fighting the “Islamic State” (IS) militants.
“Is Russia really committed to a peace process or is it using the peace process as a fig leaf to try to deliver some kind of military victory for Assad that creates an Alawite mini-state in the northwest of Syria?” Hammond told reporters during his time in Rome, where he participated in a meeting to review the conflict with IS.
Britain and Russia have been swapping accusations since after other declarations from Hammond said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is making the situation in Syria worse.
The UN announced Monday the launch of peace talks for Syria in Geneva and urged world powers to push for a ceasefire in Syria after five years of civil war. However the ongoing fighting in Syria is putting a shadow on the UN envoy’s effort to launch a serious negotiation about reaching a political solution to the five-year civil war.