Friday, April 12, 2024

Moscow says US planning to use terrorists in Syria to kidnap Russian, Iranian forces

The US continues to use militants under its control to undermine Syrian President Bashar Assad, Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Sergey Naryshkin has said. He added Washington is planning to hire terrorists to kidnap Russian and Iranian servicemen there.

Naryshkin has stated that the US continues to use militant groups under its control in Syria to undermine the position of that country’s legitimate government led by Assad.

According to the intelligence service, the US has given a special role in the effort to the Free Syrian Army — a coalition of armed Kurd and Arab opposition units that operate in the country’s center and northeast.

“The Americans and their British allies use them to work with clandestine formations of the Islamic State that are still lingering in the country’s remote regions,” the intelligence service said.

The SVR noted that this subversive activity was coordinated from the positions of the American Al-Tanf military base in the Homs Governorate.

“Representatives of the US Armed Forces Central Command, along with members from intelligence services, are involved in the planning of major operations against government forces and state structures in Syria,” the intelligence service revealed.

“The IS is tasked with fomenting hostilities in southwestern Syria (As-Suwayda, Daraa governorates), in the central part of the country (Homs) and east of the Euphrates River (Raqqa, Deir Ez-Zor governorates). They plan to form several groups of radicals with a total number of about 300 people. After special training, they will be involved in attacks on military facilities in Syria and Iran,” the statement added.

According to the intelligence service, “their patrons intend to use some of the terrorists in the capital region, including for the kidnapping of Russian and Iranian servicemen.”

At the same time, the issue of arming Islamic State fighters is being resolved in Al-Tanf.

According to the SVR, several dozen pickup trucks with large-caliber machine guns, as well as Igla short-range man-portable air defense system, TOW and NLAW missile defense systems are to be handed over to the groups being formed in the near future.

“The US’ close engagement with terrorists puts them on the same footing. In essence, such US activities are a manifestation of state terrorism,” the Russian intelligence service stressed.

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