‘Syria conflict part of Mideast geopolitical game’
Moscow: Russia has said some countries are apparently interested in fuelling violence in Syria as part of a "geopolitical remapping" of the Middle East.
In an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: "It appears that every time the hope for progress in the Syrian situation arises, somebody attempts to prevent it from calming down and deliberately fuels the continuation of the bloodshed and civil war in Syria."
Lavrov cited some unspecified opposition groups as telling Russia that western countries urge them to continue the resistance, "to fight for their rights with arms until (President Bashar al-Assad's) regime falls."
The minister was especially critical of the terrorist tactics used by the opposition as a wave of attacks targeting senior government officials and pro-Assad forces had recently swept through the country.
Lavrov said the Syrian conflict is "part of geopolitical remapping of the Middle East, where various players attempt to safeguard their interests".
Assad, who is widely viewed as a close ally of Iran, has been unfairly made "a scapegoat" in this "big geopolitical game", he added.
The Syrian conflict has claimed up to 30,000 lives since March 2011, according to latest US estimates.
The West and some Arab countries are pushing for Assad's ouster while Russia and China are trying to prevent outside interference in Syria, saying that the Assad regime and the opposition are both to blame for the bloodshed.