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Monday, 9 May 2016

Lavrov: US tried to include al-Nusra Front positions in ‘silent’ period

The United States tried to include areas captured by al-Nusra Front terrorist group in northern Syria’s Aleppo in a recently established “silent” period during Washington’s talks with Moscow on the issue, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Sputnik in an exclusive interview.
© AFP 2016/ Fadi al-Halabi / AMC
Lavrov pointed to evidence that linked the Turkish government with al-Nusra Front and Daesh terrorists, which have been excluded from all previous ceasefire deals brokered by Moscow and Washington for Syria.
“During the negotiations, our US partners actually tried to draw the borders of this ‘zone of silence’ to include a significant number of positions occupied by al-Nusra [Front]. We managed to exclude this as it is absolutely unacceptable,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov suggested that some party wanted to manipulate the United States into shielding al-Nusra Front militants from government fire.
“This indicates that someone wants to use the Americans. I do not believe that it is in their interest to shield al-Nusra [Front]. But someone wants to use the Americans to shield the al-Nusra [Front] from strikes,” Lavrov said.
Comment: One has to wonder if Lavrov truly thinks this or if it is, once again, Russia’s exemplary diplomacy in not embarrassing the US and giving them an opportunity to save face.The US/Turkey, US/EU and EU/Turkey relationships are a murky triangle. Is Lavrov hinting that he knows “Who’s on first”?
Earlier in the day, the Russian Defense Ministry said that al-Nusra Front terrorists in Syria continue provocations seeking to escalate tensions in the northern part of the Latakia province and the city of Aleppo, which has resulted in the disruption of the “silent” period.
Russia and the United States brokered a “silent” period on Thursday to be implemented for 24 hours in the Damascus’ suburbs and for 72 hours in the northern Latakia province, starting at midnight on April 30.
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