Russian Foreign Ministry on Syria, Jerusalem, US Sanctions, the INF Treaty and Arming Ukraine

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December 25, 2017
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December 25, 2017

Russian Foreign Ministry on Syria, Jerusalem, US Sanctions, the INF Treaty, and Arming Ukraine

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

At her weekly press briefing, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (MZ below) covered numerous topics, then took questions for further elaboration, as she always does.

Below are several of the key topics discussed, beginning with Syria. Russia’s Defense Ministry said government forces completed their pullout, following 27 months in the country.

Over the period, Russian aerial operations conducted 34,000 sorties. Russia’s navy carried out around 100 strikes on selected terrorist targets.

Over 60,000 ISIS and other terrorists were killed, including more than 800 commanders.

Over 700 arms factories were destroyed. Russian airpower aided Syrian and allied forces liberate 1,024 cities, towns and villages. Demining units cleared 17,128 buildings.

Accomplishments against US-supported terrorists were extraordinary. Yet conflict continues, thousands of terrorists in the country not yet eliminated.

“A portion of (Russian) service personnel will remain in Syria on full alert to help the Syrian military prevent dangerous incursions by the terrorist underground, and not allow the remaining terrorists to move to neighboring states, and from there on to other regions and countries,” MZ explained, adding:

“(T)he security threat (in Syria) remains difficult.” Terrorist attacks continue, unlikely to stop as long as Washington and its rogue allies want war and regime change, not restoration of peace and stability.

Remaining US-supported ISIS elements and thousands of al-Nusra terrorists impede conflict resolution.

Geneva talks with US/Saudi-backed opposition forces accomplished nothing, Syria falsely blamed for failure. Astana and upcoming Sochi talks are the only ones responsibly seeking conflict resolution.

MZ: “Tensions persist in the Palestinian territory due to the continued street protests against…Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

“Developments in and around Gaza have reached a dangerous level. The number of casualties is growing every day” – 14 Palestinians killed, well over 4,000 injured by Israeli violence since December 7.

Washington imposed more illegal sanctions on Russia “in connection with unjustified accusations regarding Russia’s alleged violation of the INF Treaty,” MZ explained – 195 Russian nationals and 402 companies affected.

MZ called US actions “grotesque because this is not based on anything real,” adding reciprocal moves will follow.

Washington considers Russia its leading adversary – for its sovereign independence free from US control, its opposition to naked aggression, and Vladimir Putin’s redoubtable leadership, shaming his Western counterparts.

The Trump administration continues planting of false information in the media (along with other statements about Russia’s alleged violation of the INF Treaty.”

“As usual, (it) provide(s) (no) evidence because” there’s none to provide. Its accusations are baseless. America routinely breaches international agreements, not Russia.

Moscow is concerned about the Trump administration’s intention to keep supplying Kiev putschists with heavy weapons – solely for war-making, not defense, as falsely claimed.

Washington bears full responsibility for replacing democratic Ukraine governance with fascist tyranny – along with war against Donbass freedom fighters since spring 2014, undermining conflict resolution efforts.

MZ: “We know all too well what the Kiev (putschists) stand for.”

So do other nations. Despotism can’t conceal its ugly face.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.