Moscow has raised concerns over the deployment of 150 US soldiers in Rumeilan, northeastern Syria, without the consent of the Syrian government, calling the move a “violation of the country’s sovereignty.”
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said: “Speaking from the position of the Foreign Ministry, we can’t help but be concerned about the fact that such actions are being carried out by the US without the consent of the legitimate government of the Syrian Arab Republic”
“It is a violation of sovereignty,” he said. “I emphasize that a similar political assessment has already been given by official Damascus, and we express our full solidarity with it”
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the US military intervention in Syria is illegal, ultimately aimed at toppling the government of President Assad. He said the intervention without the authorization of the “legitimate” Syrian authorities was a “big mistake.”
On Monday, US President Barack Obama confirmed plans to increase American troop presence in Syria by deploying an additional 250 personnel, bringing the total to 300. He said the troops would help drive out the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group.
The move raised eyebrows as it contradicts Obama’s earlier promise not to put any “American boots on the ground in Syria.” The first time Obama broke his 2013 pledge was when he sent 50 US special operations forces to Syria last year, saying the move was a “counterterrorism” measure and not a step closer to a ground invasion.
On Wednesday, about 150 US soldiers arrived in the Kurdish-controlled town of Rumeilan in northeastern Syria, according to a report on Thursday by the SANA news agency. A source said part of the contingent immediately headed to the north of Raqqa province.
Syria’s Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned the United States for the deployment of troops on its soil, saying that the move amounts to blatant act of aggression that constitutes a dangerous intervention and a gross violation of national sovereignty
“This intervention is rejected and illegitimate, and it happened without the Syrian government’s approval”