File Photo: The U.S. flag flutters on a military vehicle in Manbej countryside, Syria May 12, 2018. (Xinhua/REUTERS)
MOSCOW, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- The United States nurtured a plan to split off a part of Syrian territory on the eastern bank of the Euphrates and create a puppet "quasi state" there, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said here Tuesday.
"The task of restoring Syria's territorial integrity, which the entire international community, including the United States, agreed upon, was used by the United States in a deceptive maneuver," Lavrov said at a press conference after meeting with Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak.
Right now, Washington said that its main task is to prevent the Syrian government from returning to the eastern bank of the Euphrates, he said.
The United States openly declares that after withdrawing from Syria, it will support the Kurds, but only if they do not cooperate with the Syrian government and Russia, Lavrov said.
He said that the United States, under the pretext of fighting Islamic State (IS) terrorists and taking main Kurdish structures in the region as allies, has begun building a quasi state in the eastern bank of the Euphrates.
The United States is already actively investing in it, including forcing their allies to pay for development of the region and banning them from investing in the rest of Syria, which is controlled by the legitimate government, he said.
The fate of that part of Syria should not be determined by the whims of the United States, which is illegally present there, Lavrov said.
In December, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, citing that the local IS force has been largely defeated. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis resigned shortly after Trump's withdrawal decision.