MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 30th June, 2020) The situation in Syria remains tense amid ongoing ransacking of oil and gas in territories not controlled by the government forces, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said on Tuesday.
“The situation on the ground in Syria continues to be tense. It is especially complicated in territories that are not controlled by Damascus, primarily in the Idlib province and the north where there are still strongholds of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist organization [formerly known as the Nusra Front, banned in Russia] and the Islamic State [terrorist organization, banned in Russia],” Vershinin said at the virtual international conference Brussels-4.
According to the diplomat, the situation is further complicated by the fact that these territories host numerous overcrowded camps for internally displaced persons with no sustainable access due to presence of the counterterrorist coalition of forces.
“It is also regrettable that these camps, which emerged more than five years ago, have not yet been disbanded, while the countries and forces controlling these territories are advancing their own interests, including ransacking the Syrian hydrocarbons which are rightfully owned by all Syrians,” Vershinin said.
The armed conflict between the Syrian government and opposition groups, including terrorists, began in 2011. By 2016, terrorist forces were significantly subdued, while the government and opposition concluded a ceasefire, with Russia, Iran and Turkey acting as its guarantors. Notwithstanding the recent escalation in the country’s northern parts, the return of refugees to de-escalated areas and the restoration of peaceful life remain a priority in Syria.