Avoid escalation of Syrian conflict: UN

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Moscow [Russia], May 20 (ANI): The United Nations is not in a position to independently confirm the reports about the U.S. airstrike on the Syrian pro-government militias on May 18, UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said. The UN secretariat is "aware of media reports that an anti-Daesh coalition struck a convoy of the Syrian army and pro-government militias in southern Syria." "We're not in a position to independently confirm these," TASS quoted Farhan Haq as saying. Denying the fact that is no military solution to the conflict, the UN deputy spokesman said that "it is imperative to avoid an escalation of the conflict and therefore we appeal for restraint to avoid any acts that could deepen the sufferings of the Syrian people." Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov slammed the recent 'illegitimate' US-led coalition's strike against pro-Syrian government forces. "Whatever the reason for the decisions that the US command made to carry out that strike was, the strike is illegitimate, it is illegal and a regular gross violation of the Syrian Arab Republic's sovereignty," Sputnik news quoted Lavrov as telling reporters. According to Lavrov, this move means US's desire to prompt oppositionists and some extremists to fight the Syrian government. "Again we see the desire of Jabhat al-Nusra [terrorist organization banned in Russia] and those who cooperate with it, to leave [the group's activities] outside the coalition's military activities. Again and again we see the desire and confirmation of this desire as for the deployment of oppositionists and some extremists, including from Jabhat al-Nusra, to fight against the legitimate government of Syria," Lavrov said commenting on the US strike. He added that Moscow is inquiring about the details of the recent US strike and that it is alarmed that the general understanding of the need to unite efforts against terrorists is eroding. "We are still clarifying all the details, but according to some reports, several dozen civilians died as a result of the strike. I repeat, all this needs to be double-checked," he said. "We are very much worried that the general, seemingly looming, understanding of the need to unite the efforts of all who really oppose on the ground and in the air the terrorists of Daesh and former Jabhat al-Nusra [terrorist organizations banned in Russia] is beginning to erode," he concluded. On May 18, the U.S. forces in Syria bombed pro-Bashar al-Assad convoy at Tanf base that were advancing well inside an "established de-confliction zone", according to reports.(ANI)