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Russia accuses US of ‘deadly provocations’ against Russian troops in Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov exits a room after attending a meeting of the parties to the Iran nuclear deal during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, US, September 20, 2017. (File photo by Reuters)
MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday accused the United States and its allies of orchestrating “deadly provocations” against Russian troops in Syria.
Moscow has complained about what it alleges are suspiciously friendly ties between US-backed militias, US special forces, and Daesh in Syria and accused Washington of trying to slow the advance of the Syrian army.
“There are a lot of questions to US-led forces in Syria,” Lavrov told pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat in an interview published on Wednesday.
“Either they accidentally bomb Syrian troops after which Daesh militants launch an offensive, or they get other terrorists to attack strategically important objects ... or they stage deadly provocations against our military servicemen.”
Lavrov’s deputy, Sergei Ryabkov, said last week that the “two-faced policy” of the United States was to blame for the death of Russian Lt. General Valery Asapov in Syria, something Washington flatly denied.
Asapov was killed by Daesh shelling.
Lavrov also said on Wednesday that the United States and the coalition it leads were “unwelcome guests” in Syria from the point of view of international law and accused Washington of “dividing terrorists into bad and no so bad ones.”