US plan to create security forces in Syria may be ‘deliberate provocation’ – Lavrov

The US effort to create security forces along Syria’s borders with Turkey and Iraq may be a deliberate provocation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday. “In the follow-up of this course towards gross interference in Syria’s affairs, it was announced that some border security forces would be set up,” TASS quoted the minister as saying. After that, some “clumsy statements” were made to dismiss this information but in actual fact this entire activity continued, he said. “This is either failure to understand the situation or a deliberate provocation,” he said. Kurdish representatives are on the invitation list for the Syrian National Dialogue Congress due in the Russian resort of Sochi, he noted. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia maintains contact with Syrian and Turkish officials. “We believe that the principle of preserving Syria’s territorial integrity is the basic one… We’re keeping an eye on the humanitarian aspects related to the current events in the area of Afrin,” he said.