19 Feb 2018 18:05

U.S. hindering settlement of crisis in Syria - Assad's adviser

MOSCOW. Feb 19 (Interfax) - The United States is not fighting terrorism in Syria, but is trying to occupy the country and hindering a political settlement of the crisis, Syrian presidential advisor Bouthaina Shaaban said.

"The Americans are preventing us from achieving a political solution to the crisis in Syria and are supporting the terrorists and providing safe areas for them. Along with Israel's aggression, this is among the greatest difficulties," Shaaban told journalists on the sidelines of the Valdai Discussion Club's conference on the Middle East in Moscow on Monday.

"The U.S. is not fighting ISIL [banned in Russia] in Syria; it is creating preconditions for occupying part of Syria and preventing our country and Russia from declaring victory over the terrorists and from reaching agreements," Shaaban said.

The U.S. has sought to isolate Syria and undermine its sovereignty all along, Shaaban said. "Now that ISIL has virtually been defeated, the U.S. has concentrated its efforts on occupying part of Syria to establish a safe haven for terrorists," she said.