Russia: US forces 'pushed themselves into trap' — Russian envoy for Syria

Russian Special Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev argued that the US forces «pushed themselves into a trap» as they are «afraid» of the retaliation by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL) in the Al-Tanf area. Lavrentiev made the statement during an interview aired from Sochi on Wednesday. Lavrentiev said that the US forces had «pushed themselves into a deadlock, a trap... Еще. They are in Al-Tanf, as they have always told us, on the grounds of fighting against ISIL. It turned out that ISIL militants also settled in this area. And the US cannot do anything against them because they are afraid of the ISIL's retaliation. There are 1,700 [IS] militants, and it may take hours, maybe days, for them to occupy the US military base.» Lavrentiev also noted a lack of trust between the Syrian government and the opposition, adding that «the issue of exchange of detainees, prisoners is very delicate, and it is connected to trust. Unfortunately, there is still no trust between the opposition and the government.» The Russian special envoy for Syria went on to say that the Syrian government «handed the Russian side a list of detainees, prisoners, who are in areas controlled by the opposition,» however, «from the opposition side, there is still no list [of detainees].» Lavrentiev spoke following the two-day Syria peace talks, which were held in Sochi on July 30-31.

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