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Moscow: No Common Language With Washington On Syria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Tupolev Tu-22M3 bomber. © Maxim Shemetov / Reuters

Moscow, Beirut- One month after the announcement made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his U.S. counterpart John Kerry about an agreement concerning the Syrian crisis, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow was unable to reach a “common language” with U.S. experts.

Shoigu expressed yesterday his annoyance vis-à-vis the failure of the U.S. side to exchange information about the armed opposition factions in Syria.

The defense minister said that Washington did not offer information determining where the Russian aviation should not conduct airstrikes, as well as information on the exact location of terrorists inside Syria.

“We are asking our colleagues to tell us where the moderate opposition is. There are many things like this that must be resolved with our American colleagues,” Shoigu said.

The minister also spoke about the reasons behind Russia’s need of the air base at the Humaimim airport in Syria.
“We need that base in order to fight those bandits in peripheral attacks,” he said.

The Russian Defense Ministry said Sunday that Russian Tu-22M3 long-range bombers have hit ISIS positions outside the Syrian city of Deir Ezzor.

On Monday, Lavrov is expected to meet with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in the Russian city of Ekaterinburg.

A well-informed source said that talks between the two ministers would mainly revive the international support for Syria in light of the failed U.S.-Russian talks in exchange of a Russian-Turkish rapprochement.

Meanwhile, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, which includes an alliance of Kurd and Arab fighters, has announced yesterday its determination to oust ISIS fighters from the city of Bab in the countryside of Aleppo, few days after controlling the organization’s stronghold in Manjib.

Social figures in Manjib were currently working to form a local council for the city.

Ibrahim Ibrahim, head of the Media Committee of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) outside Syria told Asharq Al-Awsat that the local council in Manjib would include representatives from Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen and Sharkas entities, in addition to representatives from Arab clans.

Meanwhile, fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces continued to clean the neighborhoods of Manjib from mines left by ISIS members before pulling back from the city. The forces reopened the streets and were rehabilitating the infrastructure to allow the return of civilians who had fled the battles.