Syrian rally for Putin
© Sputnik/ Dmitriy Vinogradov
A year since the start of the Russian antiterrorist operation in Syria, Sputnik asked Syrian parliamentary speaker Hadiyeh al-Abbas to assess Russia's position on ending the conflict and restoring peace in her war-torn country.

"We always knew that Russia would come to our help and take a stand for what would be in the best interest of our two countries. Russia has always sided with the oppressed, with the victims of aggression. This means that the well-deserved respect Russia enjoys worldwide simply cannot be questioned and its interests ignored," Hadiyeh al-Abbas said.

She added that "we trust Russia in everything it does" because Russia stood up for Syria's interests as if they were its own. "Relations between our two countries will never differ from what they are now. We have a shared goal - to build a common front against the [scourge of terrorism] that is a threat to all mankind."

Now more and more previously seized terrorist territories are being liberated and controlled by various Kurdish forces. They are now setting up local administrations and have self-declared the establishment of a federal system of government as the Federation of Northern Syria - Rojava. Sputnik asked Hadiyeh al-Abbas about the Syrian authorities' reaction to this.

"We have no problems with the Kurds who are part of the Syrian nation. What is happening now has more to do with the personal ambitions of some of their leaders in Kurdish-controlled Syrian territories who are acting on direct orders from the US and some regional countries," Hadiyeh al-Abbas noted.

She said that "we will never let anyone to break up our country along national or religious lines. We will never give up a single inch of our land. Syria was, is and will always be indivisible and united. The overwhelming majority of Kurds want to be part of a single Syrian state and we will do whatever it takes to ensure equal rights for all our people, including Kurds."

"There are almost a dozen Kurdish deputies in our new parliament. They have always been active in the work of our state bodies and this tendency will be maintained and strengthened as we move forward," she said.

Turkey has accused Syrian authorities of violating the rights of local ethnic minorities, including Turkomans, and using such allegations as justification for its active meddling in Syrian affairs. Hadiyeh al-Abbas dismissed this as "a blatant lie."

"The Turkomans are part and parcel of the Syrian people. What is being said by the Turkish government is sheer propaganda, part of the information war they are waging against us. The Americans and their regional allies certainly have a hand in this. By accusing the Syrian government of imaginary crimes they are trying to give Syria a bad name in the world."

"We have never discriminated against Turkomans or any other ethnic or religious groups in Syria. Turkomans, just like anybody else, are fully represented in all our state structures and organizations," Hadiyeh al-Abbas emphasized.