SVR says US continues to use Islamists in Syria to undermine al-Assad's positions

20 March 2023

The US continues to use Islamists under its control to undermine the positions of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Sergei Naryshkin said, according to the SVR press office.

"Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin has stated that the United States continues to use Islamist groups under its control in Syria to undermine the positions of that country's legitimate government headed by B. al-Assad," the report reads.

According to the SVR, the US gives a special role to the so-called Free Syrian Army - a coalition of armed Kurdish and Arab opposition groups operating in the center and the northeast of the country. " The Americans and their British allies use them to work with clandestine formations of the Islamic State (banned in Russia - TASS) remaining in remote parts of the country," the SVR noted.

The intelligence service noted that this subversive activity was coordinated from the positions of the Al-Tanf US military base in the Homs governorate. "Representatives of the US Armed Forces Central Command along with intelligence officers are involved in planning of major operations against government forces and state structures in Syria," the SVR claimed.

They noted that the purpose of these criminal activities is to undermine the situation in Syria. "The fighters are tasked with fomenting hostilities in the Syrian southwest (As-Suwayda and Deraa governorates), in the central part of the country (Homs) and east of the Euphrates River (Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor). They plan to form several groups of radicals with a total number of about 300 people. After special training, they will be involved in attacks on military facilities in Syria and Iran," the statement reads. According to the SVR, "their patrons intend to use some of the terrorists in the capital region, including the kidnapping of Russian and Iranian servicemen."

At the same time, the issues of arming the Islamic State fighters are being resolved in Al-Tanf. According to the SVR, several dozen pickup trucks with large-caliber machine guns, as well as Igla, TOW and NLAW man-portable air defense systems, are to be handed over to the groups being formed in the near future. "The US close engagement with Islamic terrorists, including IS militants, puts them on the same footing. In essence, such US activities are a manifestation of state terrorism," the SVR stressed.



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: official website of the President of the Russian Federation

Based on materials from TASS