The United States plans to destabilize the situation in Syria with the help of controlled illegal armed groups (IAF) and ISIS militants *. This is stated in a statement by the Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation Sergey Naryshkin.

"A special role in this case is assigned by the Americans to the so-called "Free Syrian Army" - a conglomerate of armed opposition Kurdish and Arab detachments operating in the center and north-east of the country. Through them, the Americans and their British allies are working with the underground formations of the Islamic State that remain in remote areas of the country," the SVR press service quoted Naryshkin as saying.

Coordination of this subversive activity is carried out from the positions of the American military base near the village of Al-Tanf in the province of Homs.

"The US military base in the area of the village of Al-Tanf is located at the junction of the borders of Syria, Iraq and Jordan. The territory under its control includes a 55-kilometer zone around the city, "the materials of the military department say.

As previously reported by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the territory of al-Tanf is occupied by the US Armed Forces. In addition, there are gangs in the area. The militants pose a danger to civilians and are used by the US for provocations against the Syrian army.

According to the SVR, now in al-Tanf the issues of arming terrorists are being resolved. In the near future, the militants should receive several dozen all-wheel drive pickups with large-caliber machine guns, Igla MANPADS, portable ANTI-tank complexes TOW and NLAW.

On the same board with terrorists

As noted in the SVR, the United States intends to send terrorists against the government forces and state structures of Syria. Planning of these actions is carried out by American special services and employees of the Central Command of the US Armed Forces.

"The purpose of this criminal activity is to destabilize the situation in Syria. ISIS is tasked with fomenting hostilities in the Syrian south-west (the provinces of Suwayda and Daraa), in the central part of the country (Homs) and east of the Euphrates (Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor)," the Russian special service informs.

  • Rebels from the Free Syrian Army
  • AP

The Americans are going to form several detachments 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. In addition, some of the terrorists their patrons intend to use in the capital region, including for the abduction of Russian and Iranian servicemen.

"The close interaction of the United States with Islamic terrorists, including ISIS militants, puts them on the same level. In fact, such US activities are a manifestation of state terrorism," the SVR emphasized.

Recall that since 2015 in Syria there is a limited contingent of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Russian troops are deployed at the Khmeimim airbase and in the port of Tartus. Thanks to Russian military support in 2015-2017, Damascus was able to regain control over a significant part of the republic's territory and defeat ISIS.

Currently, Damascus supports the idea of expanding the military presence of the Russian Federation in the country. On March 15, Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad met in the Kremlin with Russian President Vladimir Putin. During the conversation, Assad said that a new stage of relations begins between the countries.

According to experts interviewed by RT, the United States has always had an extremely negative perception of Moscow's role in resolving the Syrian conflict, but was forced to put up with the legitimate Russian military presence in the Arab Republic.

In an interview with RT, the head of the Center for Military-Political Studies of the Institute of the USA and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Batyuk, suggested that now Washington intends to once again try to destabilize the situation in Syria, taking advantage of its illegal presence in the republic and influence on local gangs.

"Washington's intervention in Syria has already led in 2011 to civil war and the rise of ISIS. With great difficulty and with the support of Moscow, Damascus managed to regain control over most of the country's territory and oust the Islamic State. But the Americans continue to subvert. They illegally hold some areas of the SAR, recruit militants and repeatedly try to destabilize the situation in Syria again," Batyuk said.

According to the expert, Washington is interested in using gangs as a tool to counter Damascus, Moscow and Baghdad. Ultimately, according to Batyuk, the United States intends to take over as many natural resources of the SAR as possible.

  • The founding fathers of extremism: through whose hands the West defends its geopolitical interests

As previously reported by the SVR, the United States is engaged in the theft of the natural resources of the SAR. In particular, Washington is involved in the illegal trade in oil produced in the occupied territories of the north-east of the Arab Republic.

"Every month, up to 3 million barrels of raw materials are extracted at the fields in the provinces of Hasakah, Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor. About a third of the stolen oil with the mediation of the Americans is sold to the Kurdish Autonomous Region of Iraq at a price of $ 35-40 per barrel, "the SVR materials say.

The task of the American contingent and PMCs is to accompany convoys with oil, as well as to protect production and processing infrastructure, the SVR said.

According to Batyuk, the production of Syrian oil is a profitable business for the United States.

"When the fields of Syria were occupied by ISIS, they pumped oil, making good money on it. Now americans are engaged in this illegal business. And the United States wants to maximize its profits, "Batyuk believes.

Countering normalization

In an interview with RT, Vasily Ostanin-Golovnya, a researcher at the Department of the Middle and Post-Soviet East of the INION RAS, suggested that in the Syrian direction, the United States mainly pursues political goals. In particular, they seek to counteract the normalization of Damascus' relations with other Arab countries. And Washington's plans outlined by the SVR to destabilize the situation in the republic with the help of terrorist groups are aimed precisely at this.

"Now Washington does not like the fact that Bashar al-Assad, against whom he fought for so long, returns his country to the League of Arab States and establishes relations with the states of the region. This is evidenced by Assad's visit to the UAE, the intention of Saudi Arabia to restore relations with official Damascus," Ostanin-Golovnya said.

According to the expert, destabilization in the SAR is also beneficial to the United States in the context of efforts to disrupt the rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which have been feuding for decades.

"The Syrian issue is at the center of this normalization on a par with the Yemeni one," Ostanin-Golovnya said.

Recall, on March 19, The King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud invited Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi to visit the capital of the kingdom. Earlier, with the mediation of China, Riyadh and Tehran reached agreements on the restoration of diplomatic relations. Both states intend to resolve existing disputes and disagreements in the near future.

In a recent interview with RT Arabic senior correspondent Sargon Hadaya, Assad said that the Arab Republic has ceased to be the scene of the Iranian-Saudi confrontation.

According to Ostanin-Golovnya, the normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran can radically change the situation in the Middle East, and not in favor of the United States. In a possible new round of the Syrian conflict, Washington sees a way to quarrel between Riyadh and Tehran.

"The normalization and rapprochement of Saudi Arabia and Iran is a very important process for stabilizing the Middle East. In addition, as far as I can tell, both countries intend to compensate for the excessive US presence in the region by strengthening cooperation with Moscow and Beijing. The United States needs to take retaliatory measures, and, apparently, therefore, they again drew attention to Syria, which during the civil war was the scene of confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, "Ostanin-Golovnya explained.

This opinion is shared by Vladimir Batyuk. According to the expert, the United States fears that following the warming of Iranian-Saudi relations, with the mediation of Moscow, many controversial issues will be resolved between Syria and Turkey.

  • Meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, March 15, 2023
  • RIA Novosti
  • © Vladimir Gerdo

In January 2023, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan admitted the possibility of a meeting with Assad. In an interview with RT, the Syrian leader also did not rule it out, noting that the dialogue could take place subject to the withdrawal of Turkish troops from the territory of the country and after the refusal to support the illegal armed groups.

As Batyuk said, the United States does not want to suffer a new political defeat in the Middle East.

"Russia acts as the main mediator in contacts to normalize relations between Syria and Turkey. If this happens, it will be a new sensitive blow to Washington's positions in the Middle East after the restoration of the Iranian-Saudi dialogue. This will be another major political defeat for the United States. And of course, the United States will try to prevent it," Batyuk concluded.

* "Islamic State" (IG, ISIS) - the organization is recognized as a terrorist organization by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of 29.12.2014.