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26 Dec, 2018 13:40

Damascus must take over E. Syria after US troops withdrawal – Moscow

Moscow expects the Syrian government to take over the areas where the US troops are currently deployed following their withdrawal, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday. The withdrawal of the US troops does not translate to the end of activity by the US-led coalition, she noted. “Who will inherit control over the territories vacated by the Americans? Obviously, that should be the Syrian government, in accordance with international law,” Zakharova said. “However, right now we have no information on contacts between Washington and Damascus on the issue.” Any positive changes in Syria can only yield a long-term positive effect if they are reinforced by substantial progress “on the political settlement track based on respect for Syria’s unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty,” she noted.