Two weeks after a US B-52 strike killed scores of Russian mercenaries in Syria, which according to Bloomberg and Reuters were are as many as 200, while Russia said no more than 5 Russians were killed in the attack then promptly refused to discuss the embarrassing topic further, Moscow has clearly not forgotten this latest – and most serious – escalation in the 7-year-old proxy war, and on Monday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the Trump administration not to “play with fire” as he lashed out at the U.S. over what he described as its “provocative” support for autonomy-seeking Kurds in Syria, while urging US troops in the area of Al-Tanf to “leave immediately.”
Speaking to a Moscow audience at the Valdai Club conference on the Middle East, Lavrov said that US troops must immediately cease operations in the Southern Syria area of Al-Tanf, adding that he once again calls “on our American colleagues not to play with fire and measure their steps proceeding not from immediate needs of today’s political environment, but rather from long-term interests of the Syrian people and of all peoples of this region, including the Kurds, of course,” the Russian top diplomat was quoted as saying by TASS News Agency.
Lavrov was referring to an area on Syria’s border with Jordan and Iraq, which the US declared to be under its protection last year. Among other things, it contains the Rukban refugee camp. The facility is apparently used by radical militants, including members of UN-designated terrorist group best known by its former name Al-Nusra Front, to recover and raid other parts of Syria, Lavrov said at the Valdai Club conference on the Middle East in Moscow, alongside his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif and a top adviser of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
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