MOSCOW, February 18. Moscow is waiting for a concrete explanation from Riyadh regarding plans of Saudi Arabia for participation in operations against the terrorist group “Islamic state” (IG, is prohibited in Russia) in Syria. About it the correspondent of TASS said the representative of the Russian President for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.
“You have to understand, what’s the plan with our Saudi partners, we have no specifics yet, only statements. As long as any planes they send to the Turkish territory,” he said. However, he added that Riyadh is not connected to any mechanism for coordinating actions in Syria. At the same time we have mechanisms of coordination, including in our contacts between the military of Israel, including the quadripartite mechanism in Baghdad, which is open to all who want to participate in coordination in the exchange of information on issues of joint struggle against terrorists,” – said Bogdanov.
“The Saudis are not yet connected to any of these mechanisms, they must coordinate if they want with the Americans, their participation in antiepilepsy coalition (ISIS – the former name of the IG – ed.)”, he added. However, according to Bogdanov, Saudi Arabia expressed willingness to participate in the fighting in Syria, but not unilaterally. “They are ready to participate in hostilities, but not one-sided. The decision to participate needs to accept, for example, antiepilepsy coalition,” – said Deputy foreign Minister.
Any operation must be agreed with Damascus
The conduct of any military action, including ground operation, on Syrian territory must be agreed with the authorities of that country or through the mechanisms of the UN security Council, said Mikhail Bogdanov.
“We believe that, like Iraq, Syria is a sovereign state. There is a Central authoritative power, and must agree on (a land operation – approx.). Either this issue should be resolved in a participatory manner in the framework of the Security Council to adopt a consolidated decision on how best to proceed in the fight against terrorists in Syria,” – said Bogdanov.
The technical capabilities of the operation
However Mikhail Bogdanov expressed doubt that such an operation could be technically possible. “I don’t really want me to do this as Saudi Arabia to send ground troops either in Jordan or in Turkey: the border with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, as you know, no. Of course, you can implement the movement of troops by aircraft,” – said the Deputy Minister.
The participation of Syrian Kurds
The United States understands the importance of engaging Syrian Kurds in the delegation of the Syrian opposition, Ankara this understanding does not demonstrate, said Deputy foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.
“Now Kurdish defense forces control about 15 % of the territory of Syria. Naturally, the Kurds have the same right as any other citizens of Syria to participate in the political process,” he said. “Americans have a significant level of understanding of this factor. Our Turkish partners who are members, participants of the International support group Syria, this understanding is, unfortunately, still no”, – said Bogdanov.
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