Syria to US: Tell Turkey, Saudi Arabia to stop funding terrorists
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s political and media adviser says it is now time for the US to pressure Turkey and Saudi Arabia to stop supporting Takfiri militants wreaking havoc in the country.
Bouthaina Shaaban made the remarks during an interview with the Lebanon-based al-Mayadeen television channel on Tuesday, a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that “the main part” of the Russian forces would start to withdraw from Syria.
“The ball is now in the United States’ court and the next step will be American pressure on Turkey and Saudi Arabia to stop funding terrorists and stop the flow of weapons,” Shaaban said.
“It is very possible to close the borders and keep out mercenaries,” she added.
Saudi Arabia and Turkey, along with other allies including Qatar, have time and again been implicated in providing financial and logistical support for the Takfiris in an effort to bring down the Syrian government.
Referring to Russia as any “ally and friend” that has based its relations with Syria on respect and “consultation”, she noted that the partial Russian troops withdrawal does not mean they “cannot return.”
Russian jets flay back home
Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced the country has started shipping its military equipment and materials out of Syria.
Footage of the first Russian jets leaving Syria can be seen below:
Syrian forces have recently been making back-to-back advances with the support of the Russian airstrikes.
Earlier, Syrian troops backed by Russian airstrikes made major gains to the west of the central city of Daesh-held city of Palmyra.
“The (Syrian) army is able not only to preserve the gains it has made, but also to confront new areas in order to liberate the largest possible number of villages,” Shaaban added.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.