At her weekly press briefing, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (MZ below) discussed developments in Syria.
She blasted Western media, disgracefully saying “Russia’s highly-touted (Sochi) peace conference to end the war in Syria was an utter debacle.”
The conference was part of Moscow’s all-out diplomatic efforts to restore peace and stability to the country – its agenda undermined by US-led aggression, wanting endless conflict and regime change, what Western media never explain.
Sochi was the most notable conflict resolution initiative so far, over 1,500 representatives attending, boycotted by terrorists comprising the Saudi-cobbled together High Negotiating Committee and Syrian Kurds.
MZ commented on the downing of a Russian Su-25 warplane, its pilot Major Roman Fillipov killed while battling US-supported terrorists on the ground.
Putin awarded him Hero of Russia recognition posthumously, the nation’s highest honor, MZ saying “(h)is heroic deed will never be forgotten,” adding:
“The illegal military presence of the US on Syrian territory remains a major challenge to promoting peace in Syria and preserving its unity and territorial integrity.”
“In the southern part of the country what is left of ISIS fighters use the 55-kilometer zone created unilaterally by the US around its military base near Al Tanf for hiding from Syrian government forces, regrouping and getting arms in order to carry out new attacks in the Syrian desert.”
“ISIS fighters operate without any constraints near Al Tanf…carry(ing) out long-distance raids reaching as far as the Aleppo Province.”
“They still threaten a number of transport roads. The US still blocks the road connecting Damascus to Baghdad.”
Washington, Israel and their rogue allies represent the greatest obstacle to restoring peace and stability to the country – supporting the terrorist scourge they claim to oppose, attacking Syrian and allied forces.
Commenting on the MANPAD-downing of a Russian Su-25, MZ explained these and other weapons are supplied by foreign sources. “Such is the reality,” she said, stopping short of blaming Washington for supplying al-Nusra with MANPADs responsible for the February 7 incident.
She blasted spurious US allegations, claiming Russian involvement in “suspected chemical attacks” in Syria – conducted by US-supported terrorists, not government forces as falsely claimed.
“(T)he United States has been cranking up unconfirmed information plants on Damascus using chemical agents. There are no facts” supporting the spurious claims, MZ explained, adding:
“(W)e are witnessing a classical stage-managed propaganda campaign on the part of Washington and its officials.”
“This, mildly speaking, does nothing to promote, but rather contradicts the United States’ declared goals in the context of Syrian settlement.”
Commenting on US illegal “military biological activity,” MZ stressed its refusal to agree on “a legally binding protocol to the Convention (on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxic Weapons) that would contain elements of its verification mechanism.”
Washington notoriously uses banned chemical, biological and radiological weapons in its wars of aggression.
MZ expressed serious concerns about “the growing medical and biological activity of the US Department of Defense along the perimeter of Russian borders. Microbiological research labs are being quickly built.”
They’re “carry(ing) out a wide range of research on pathogens of especially dangerous diseases with the constant involvement of American military biologists” – threatening Russia’s security.
Washington targets Russia in many hostile ways. Days earlier the US Treasury “blocked a $20,000 transfer from the China National Fishery Association for the services of Russian border control inspectors on monitoring compliance with paid quotas for fishing in Russia’s exclusive economic zone,” MZ explained, adding:
“A US bank handled this money transfer. It appears that the Americans are already afraid that fish will meddle in US domestic affairs.”
“The money transfer made by Chinese fishermen was blocked under the pretext that Russian border guards are affiliated with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) on which the Obama administration imposed sanctions back in December 2016.”
What happened is one of many intolerable US anti-Russia actions. Other money transfers were blocked earlier, Washington stealing Russian money, refusing to return it.
Bilateral relations are dismal, worsening since Trump took office – discussed in detail in earlier articles.