Russia and US to check lists of terrorist groups in Syria

Russia and US to check lists of terrorist groups in Syria


At the next meeting in Vienna, Russia is going to coordinate a list of terrorist organizations in Syria with its partners. This statement was made Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova. "We intend to work out a common and unambiguous understanding of what armed groups are terrorist, as well as clarify the joint delegation of the Syrian opposition for talks with the authorities,’’ she said. 

Recall that a multilateral meeting on Syria took place in Vienna on October 30th. It was attended by Foreign Ministers from 19 countries. After the talks it was agreed to hold the next multilateral meeting in the next two weeks.

The political scientist and orientalist Vyacheslav Matuzov said in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza that participants of the negotiations have some disagreement on the status of one or another group. "Dzhebhat al-Nusra is always discussed. I see a very strong desire by the Americans to consider it moderate. They said that they bombed a moderate organization, as well as that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov asked them to show where the Free Syrian Army was. The US was unable to do so because there was no actual Free Syrian Army, even at the leadership level,’’ he said.

"The US was preparing personnel for the Syrian Free Army, about 12,000-15,000 people. But then it turned out that there were only 4,000-5,000 people. The other part crossed the border with Syria and joined Dzhebhat en-Nusra. "Washington is in a difficult situation now. Personnel who were formally trained by US State Department were included on the list of terrorist organizations of the United Nations.''

The President of the Middle East Institute, Yevgeny Satanovsky, said that the chances that the parties will manage to coordinate a list of terrorist organizations in Syria are approximately equal. ‘‘There is still no such document, because the participants have different attitudes to different groups. Some countries consider them to be terrorists, and others support them. In particular, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia finance them, supply arms, provide militants and save them from Russian missiles. Someone is helping ISIS, Dzhebhat al-Nusra, the Muslim Brotherhood and Ahrar al-Sham. If these people believe that Islamic State, the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda, Dzhebhat al-Nusra, or Ahrar al-Sham are not terrorist organizations, so let them say it and confirm this. If you do not believe it, then it is good and the Russian operations cannot be criticized. We should airstrike them. In this case, they should not have a grudge against Russia,’’ Satanovskiy said.

The Chairman of the Board of the Association of Russian Diplomats, Ambassador Andrey Baklanov, expressed the opinion that this list may lead to new problematic issues. "It is important to understand the intentions of the parties. Is there a goal to understand this phenomenon better, make targeted airstrikes and understand who is much more dangerous, and who is less? Or it is just a desire to deprive the Syrians of government forces, our initiative, as well as slow down further development of offensive operations?" the diplomat asked.

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