Russia to continue to help Syria in freeing territory: FM

Thursday, 2019-02-14 14:38:37
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An image grab taken from AFP TV on January 17, 2019, shows Russian army vehicles on patrol in the area of Arimah, just west of Manbij, the northern city near the Turkish border. (Photo: AFP/Xinhua)
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Russia will do everything to help the Syrian government and its armed forces liberate the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on February 13.

"We will support the actions of the Syrian army, which should be carried out in line with the provisions of international humanitarian law," Lavrov said at a press conference.

He said Russia will not follow the path of the US-led coalition in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, which used to be the "de facto capital" of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.

According to Lavrov, dead bodies have not been disposed of and the territory has not been cleared of mines after an operation carried out by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, supported by the coalition's air strikes and ground troops, against IS in Raqqa in 2017.

The Syrian government absolutely does not want similar scenarios, Lavrov said.

Differently from Raqqa, hundreds of thousands of former refugees have returned to the city of Aleppo and Damascus' Eastern Ghouta area, liberated by the Syrian army supported by the Russian air force, Lavrov said.