The leader of the Daesh terrorist group Abu Bakr Baghdadi was “the brainchild of the United States”, and his elimination has not yet been confirmed, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.
“The Russian Defense Ministry has already made a comment on Baghdadi. We want more information. Everything was solemnly and triumphantly announced, but our military is still studying additional facts, and they cannot confirm yet much of what the US has said”, Lavrov said.
At the same time, he recalled that Baghdadi “is (or was, if he is already dead) a brainchild of the United States”.
“Daesh* arose after the illegal invasion in Iraq, the collapse of the Iraqi state and the release of extremists from prisons by the Americans. Therefore, to a certain extent, the Americans eliminated the one they gave birth to, if it actually happened”, Lavrov concluded.
The Russian top diplomat went on, saying that the United States continues to support ”provocateurs called the White Helmets, who operate in Idlib in areas controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly known as Al-Nusra Front*)”, therefore, provocations involving chemical weapons may occur at any time.
The United States uses the revenue from selling Syrian oil to prop up loyal armed groups in the country, Lavrov also said.
“Oil is transported out of Syria and, of course, the United States supports loyal armed groups with the revenues from [selling] that oil,” the diplomat explained.
However, Sergei Lavrov also said that Russia and the United States have been able to resume consultations on the fight against terrorism and establish a de-conflicting channel on military actions in Syria.
Lavrov also said that Russia is not avoiding dialogue with the United States on new types of weapons, new military technologies, “including those that were announced by Russian President [Vladimir Putin] in 2018 in his address to the parliament”, and is not hiding anything in that respect. “This is a very clear position that has been conveyed to the Americans”, he said.