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Russia warns against uninvited foreign presence in Syria

RUSSIA accused US forces in Syria today of suspicious activities, stressing that any foreign presence in the country that lacks the invitation of President Bashar al-Assad’s government is illegitimate.

Russian Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow was ready for “larger-scale provocations” by the West, although he played down fears of a world war, saying: “Everybody would be sane enough not to let it happen.” 

He expressed frustration at a lack of dialogue between Russia and Nato and said certain countries prefer using “political blackmail, economic pressure and brute force.” 

The world now “has to pay a high price for these selfish ambitions by a tiny group of countries,” Mr Lavrov added.

He warned of suspicious activities, accusing US forces of transporting Isis jihadists from Syria to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr Assad has described the US military presence as an occupying force which must leave Syria immediately. He has consistently accused Washington of backing terrorists in its bid to remove him from power.

Syria’s future must be based on United Nations security council resolution No 2254, which stresses that Syrians must have the right to determine their own future without interference, Mr Lavrov said.

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