Russian warplanes pounded on Monday US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces positions at a gas facility in the east of Deir Ezzor, reflecting Moscow's annoyance from the possibility that Washington’s allies control oil-rich areas and natural resources east of the Euphrates River, an area that constitutes the economic lifeline of the so-called “useful Syria” regime-controlled areas.
A Kurdish official told Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday that Russia launched airstrikes and missiles against the SDF-controlled Conoco Gas Plant last Saturday. However, Russia denied the reports.
On Monday, the Russian Army backed regime forces in deploying outside the “useful Syria” areas west the country and in the eastern part of the main road between Damascus and Aleppo.
Thanks to the Russian air support and the Iranian land assistance, regime forces have controlled 45 percent of the country’s size, including phosphate, oil and gas fields in Aleppo and central Syria.
It is worth noting that Syrian regime forces only controlled 11 percent of Syria in 2005, according to a report published by the Russian Defense Ministry.
On the other hand, the support provided by the International Coalition has also helped SDF forces control the majority of energy sources east the Euphrates River also known as the “economically useful Syria.”
There is currently a race between the US and its allies from one side and Russia and its forces from another side on controlling 15 percent of Syria’s territories still under ISIS control east the country. Those territories include oil, gas, water dams and agricultural lands.
Meanwhile, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem told 'Russia Today' on Monday that Damascus is ready to negotiate greater autonomy with the Syrian Kurds.
“We categorically reject the referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan and stand for the unity of Iraq,” Moallem said, emphasizing that Syria is faced with a different situation with the Kurds on its territory.
“In Syria, they [Kurds] want to proclaim autonomy in one form or another within the borders of the Syrian Arab Republic. Negotiations and a dialogue are possible on the matter,” he added.