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Moscow Resorts to Iran’s Military Choice following Clash with Washington | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (photo credit: Sergei Karpukhin/AP)

Moscow – Moscow insisted on blaming the United States and the Syrian opposition parties of failing to abide by the U.S.-Russian agreement, following a tense U.N. Security Council session on Syria, which saw direct accusations against Russia and the Syrian regime for breaching the truce.

Meanwhile, the Russian defense ministry said on Monday that an agreement was nearly reached with the Pentagon on reviving the ceasefire agreement.

However, observers believe that developments in Syria indicate that Russia had preferred to resort to the Iranian military choice, in response to the failed cooperation with the U.S., especially in Aleppo.

On Monday, a local Russian newspaper quoted well-informed military and diplomatic sources as saying that U.S. and Russian military officials were preparing to sign a mutual agreement to “organize transitory cooperation in Syria.”

The sources added that the agreement would specify the key mechanisms to coordinate air strikes. The newspaper said that negotiations have entered the final phase, noting that the agreement would see the light within few days.

The newspaper added that while the Russian ministries of foreign affairs and defense declined to comment on the information regarding the agreement, well-informed diplomatic sources told the Russian newspaper that the series of accusations between the U.S. and Russia did not obstruct continuous cooperation and information exchange between military officials.

Meanwhile, Kremlin said on Monday it was gravely concerned by the situation in Syria where it said terrorists were using a ceasefire to regroup and wage offensives against government troops.

“The Kremlin views the situation as extremely complicated,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters. “We are chiefly concerned that … terrorists are using a ceasefire to regroup their forces, to replenish their arsenals, for obvious preparations for waging offensives,” he added.

Peskov said moderate opposition forces have not been separated from terrorists, repeating Moscow’s reproach of the United States for failing to deliver on its promise to force the armed groups it has influence over to disengage from terrorist fighters.

“Because there has been no separation of moderates from terrorists, terrorists continue their encroachments, they continue offensives … Naturally the fight against terrorists is ongoing, it must not be stopped,” Peskov said.

The ceasefire brokered by Moscow and Washington broke down last week. The United States accused Russia on Sunday of barbarism as warplanes supporting government forces pounded Aleppo and Moscow said ending Syria’s war was almost impossible.

Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov said the U.S. and its Western partners were trying to steer the world’s attention away from their airstrikes on the Syrian Army by accusing Russia of attacking a U.N. humanitarian convoy outside Aleppo.

In an interview with a Russian television on Monday, Lavrov said that Washington was still trying to point the finger at Russia and hold it accountable for what is happening in Syria.

Lavrov stressed, however, that his country was still committed to the agreements reached during the past months.