Russia accuses US of trying to 'break apart' Syria, during meeting with Turkey and Iran

Russia accuses US of trying to 'break apart' Syria, during meeting with Turkey and Iran
Russia's notorious Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused the US of trying to break apart Syria.
2 min read
28 April, 2018
Lavrov has accused the US of trying to divide Syria [Anadolu]

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday accused the US of attempting to divide Syria, during a meeting on the war-torn country with Iran and Turkey.

Lavrov rejected US statements on respecting Syria's territorial integrity as "only words" and said that Washington had designs for the country.

The US has "cover plans for reformatting the Middle East and plans for dividing Syria into parts", he said during a meeting with his counterparts from Iran and Turkey.

He added than US-led strikes in Syria following a chemical attack on an opposition town had "seriously aggravated the situation".

Days earlier, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov hinted that Russia might support the partition of Syria.

"We don't know how the situation is going to develop on the question of whether it is possible to keep Syria as a single country," he said.

Moscow was left embarrassed when days of warnings against the US, UK, and France were ignored and the three countries launched scores of cruise missiles on chemical weapons targets earlier this month following a toxic gas massacre in Douma, blamed on the regime.

No casualties were reported in the attacks and Russia was warned before the missiles were launced.

Lavrov was speaking at a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, all key players in Syria's war.

The so-called Astana process the three countries are pursuing on the issue of Syria has been rejected by nearly all of Syrian opposition groups and the UN.

It is seen as an attempt by the Syrian regime's allies of undermining the UN-led Geneva roadmap that sets out much harsher conditions on the future of Bashar al-Assad.

Russia, Iran and Turkey have also been competing for influence and zones of influence in the country.

Russia and Iran are key backers in Assad and have sent dozens of aircraft and thousands of fighters to bolster his regime. 

Both countries are thought to be battling for business interests, commodities and political influence.

Turkey also occupies large parts of northern Syria where it is in competition with US-backed Kurdish forces for territories.

Turkey also hit out at the US for its backing of the Turkish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces.

"Today, the US supports terrorist organisations, and this has to stop," Cavusoglu said.

Agencies contributed to this story.