Moscow slams illegal US presence in Syria amid reports of new military bases being built in oil-rich province

5 Nov, 2019

US actions to bolster its ‘illegal presence’ in Syria violate international law, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said on Tuesday.

The statement comes shortly after Turkish media reported that two new American military bases are under construction in the oil-rich Deir ez-Zor province.

The Russian diplomat was asked for the ministry’s take on the reported US plans; his response echoes Russia’s position on the matter, previously stated by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin.

Any actions whatsoever – we are not talking about anything in particular now – that the United States undertake to keep themselves militarily present in Syria are unacceptable and illegal from our point of view and under international law.

Turkish media reported earlier on Tuesday that the US has started constructing two new military bases in the Deir ez-Zor governorate which is known for its oil reserves. It is claimed that one of the facilities is being built near the former Syrian Air Defense Forces’ 113th Brigade base and another in the al-Sur region.

Speaking on Friday, US President Donald Trump reaffirmed US intentions to retain troops in Syria to “keep the oil”, and even gained credit from Syria’s President Assad for being the “most transparent American President.”

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