The Minister of Foreign Relations in Moscow, Sergei Lavrov has issued a stern warning to President Donald Trump and his administration to tread lightly and not to play with fire as he lashed out on Washington. Mr. Lavrov described the February 7 attacks as a provocative support for the Kurdish fighters whom he claims are seeking autonomy in Syria. The Foreign Minister said that the United States should seize playing dangerous games which could potentially result in the dismemberment of the Syrian nation.
Lavrov was speaking Monday in Moscow at a conference on the Middle East policy along with the Foreign Affairs Minister from Tehran, Mohammed Javad Zarif and one of the senior advisors to President Bashar-al-Assad. Lavrov said that the Kremlin had seen attempts by Washington to exploit the aspirations of the Kurdish fighters in Syria. A standoff between Washington and Moscow was inflamed earlier this month by aerial attacks from American forces in Syria which led to the killing of about 200 Russian private military contractors. The airstrikes from the US armed forces were as a result of an unprovoked attack that was orchestrated by pro-government forces loyal to President Assad near a Kurdish military base.
However, according to reports from the US military command in Syria, only 100 fighters lost their lives in the attack. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow confirms that the attack led to the killing of five Russian nationals and said that they were still conducting investigations regarding the incident. While American officials accepted the assurances given by the Kremlin that Moscow had nothing to do with the non-provoked attack, the clash was the most fatal between these two bitter rivals of the Cold War era. President Assad has now been able to regain control over a significant part of Syria after seven years of conflict which started in 2011. As outside powers come into direct confrontation with each other, the war in Syria is now taking a new phase which most foreign policy and defense industry commentators say could be detrimental.
The growing influence of the Iranian regime in Syria and the determination by Turkey to annihilate American backed Kurdish fighters have brought tensions between the US and Turkey. The United States says that it is determined to set up a Kurdish force of over 30,000 fighters along the Kurdish border to offer protection in the northeast part of Syria. However, the Russian backed Assad’s forces have condemned the US incentive as an attempt by Washington to carve out an influence zone.