Syria’s envoy to the United Nations Bashar al-Ja’afari gestures during a press conference following a meeting with the UN special envoy for Syria during peace talks on May 19, 2017 at the United Nations Offices in Geneva. (Photos by AFP)
Syria’s Ambassador to the UN Bashar al-Ja’afari has announced the end of the latest round of Syrian peace talks, while stressing that “state terrorism” is still being carried out against his country.
“We have just concluded the last session with the UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, within the framework of the current Geneva round, which we agreed to call it the 6th round of Geneva,” Ja’affari said in the Swiss city on Friday.
“We would like to remind the attendees that state terrorism is being practiced against our country,” he added in reference to a US airstrike that targeted anti-Daesh forces in Syria on Thursday.
“The important thing is that our political ambition is higher because we want to focus on fighting terrorism represented by armed groups and the state and government terrorism happening against our country. This includes the American aggression, French aggression and British aggression, whether on civilian or military targets,” he added.
According to a Syrian government military source, the US strike killed several people and caused material damage.
The source said the attack hampered efforts by the Syrian army and its allies to fight Daesh terrorists who have been wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria for years.
Meanwhile, De Mistura also confirmed that the latest round of talks has come to an end, noting that there had only been “incremental progress” with no major discussions held on topics on the main agenda.
He expressed hope that talks would recommence in June, without giving any specific date.
The sixth round of the Syria peace talks began under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva on Tuesday.
Since March 2011, Syria has been gripped by militancy it blames on some Western states and their regional allies that have long pushed for the ouster of the Damascus government.
Several rounds of peace talks have been held in Geneva and the Kazakh capital Astana.
The Astana talks, brokered by Iran, Russia and Turkey, have most recently produced a memorandum of understanding on de-escalation zones in Syria, sharply reducing fighting in the country.
US strike against Syrian forces ‘unlawful’: Russia
Meanwhile, Russia condemned the US airstrike on pro-Syrian government forces in the Arab country as “illegal and unlawful.”
“The American command explained the strike on pro-government Syrian forces, saying that these forces represented a threat to opposition which cooperates with the US-led coalition,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“Whatever the reason for the US command to make this decision, this strike is illegitimate and unlawful. It’s yet another harsh violation of Syria’s sovereignty,” he added.
Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov described the attacks as “unacceptable,” adding that they would not help efforts to achieve a political solution to the ongoing crisis in the war-torn country.
Different foreign-backed terrorist groups have been wreaking havoc in Syria since 2011.
Over the past few months, Syrian forces have made sweeping gains against Takfiri elements who have lately increased their acts of violence across the country following a series of defeats on the ground.