|Date: Dec 4, 2018|
|Source: The Daily Star|
|Lavrov's comments about eastern Syria 'cause for concern': Kurds|
|BEIRUT: Kurdish officials Monday said that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s comments about the situation in eastern Syria were “suspicious” and “a cause for concern.”|
Lavrov had said Sunday that the presence of U.S. forces in eastern Syria are “illegitimate” and, by supporting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, are violating what he said were international commitments to Syria’s territorial integrity.
“This is a very dangerous game, taking into account that the Kurdish issue is vital in a whole number of regional states [in Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey]," Lavrov said in an interview with Rossiya 1 TV channel.
The Syrian Democratic Council, the political wing of the SDF, said in a statement that the Kurdish cause is a national issue for Syria and must be resolved in accordance with international conventions.
“We reject such statements, which only contribute to stir up unrest and undermine and stability of the region.”
The U.S.-led coalition’s support for Kurdish forces in eastern Syria, which they say is part of their campaign against Daesh (ISIS), is bitterly opposed by NATO-ally Turkey.
Earlier this year, Turkish forces entered Syria as part of “Operation Olive Branch,” laying siege on Afrin city and forcing out Kurdish fighters from their stronghold along the Turkey-Syria border.
Kurdish forces have however maintained a presence in Syria’s east, where they are currently battling Daesh militants with support of the U.S.-led coalition.
Moscow and Ankara in September brokered an agreement to set up the buffer zone to avert a new offensive in Idlib that would be patrolled by but Russian and Turkish troops.