26-09-2016 04:54 AM Jerusalem Timing

Russia Expects Explanations from Saudi over Syria Intervention: Moscow

Russia Expects Explanations from Saudi over Syria Intervention: Moscow

Russia said Thursday it is waiting for specific explanations from Saudi Arabia over its plans for participation in an operation in Syria.

Russia said Thursday it is waiting for specific explanations from Saudi Arabia over its plans for participation in an operation in Syria.

"One should be aware what plans our Saudi partners have. We have no specifics at this point, only statements. They are sending some planes to Turkish territory," special presidential representative for the Middle East and African countries, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told TASS.Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov

"So far, the Saudis have not joined any of these mechanisms. If they want (to act jointly) with Americans, they should coordinate their participation in the anti-ISIL coalition (referring to so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant)," he added.

According to Bogdanov, Saudi Arabia expressed its readiness to take part in the fighting in Syria, not but unilaterally. "They are ready to take part in the fighting, but not on a unilateral basis. The decision on their participation should be taken, for example, by the anti-ISIL coalition," he said.

Meanwhile, Bogdanov stressed that any ground operation in Syria must be agreed with Damascus or UN Security Council.

"We believe that, just like Iraq, Syria is a sovereign state. It has a central authoritative power, and [such ground operation — TASS] should be coordinated with it," he said.

"Alternatively, this issue should be addressed in the collective format within the UN Security Council. [It is necessary] to develop a consolidated decision on what is the best way to counter terrorists in Syria."

However, he expressed doubts that such operation would be technically possible. "I have no notion of how Saudi Arabia will be sending ground troops either to Jordan or to Turkey. As we know, Turkey has no border with Saudi Arabia. Of course, troops could be deployed with the help of aircraft," Bogdanov added.
On the other hand, the Russian official noted that the establishment of a no-fly zone in Syria is impossible and inexpedient.

"What no-fly zone can we talk about when aircraft of the anti-ISIL coalition led by the United States fly there, when the Aerospace Forces of the Russian Federation continue their operation coordinated with the official Syrian authorities," Bogdanov said answering a relevant question.

"How would we fight terrorists jointly with Western partners, having in mind that it is necessary to deliver strikes at the positions of militants, weapons depots, infrastructure that financially feeds terrorists?" he said.