MIDDLE EAST

Moscow accuses Washington of hindering peace process in Syria

on Wednesday accused the United States of America and it allies in the region of in war-torn . "The U.S. presence only exacerbates the criminal situation and prevents the restoration of peaceful life in the country," , head of Russia's National Defense Management Center, told reporters in Moscow.

's Ministry of Defense on Wednesday accused the U.S. of escalating the situation in Syria to justify its presence in the country.

"The U.S. and its allies are indifferent to the fate of ordinary Syrians. The Americans need hotbeds of tension in only to justify their illegal presence on the territory of a sovereign state and to satisfy their geopolitical ambitions by any means," Mikhail Mizintsev, head of Russia's National Defense Management Center, told reporters in Moscow.

Mizintsev slammed the U.S. actions in Syria, saying that only complete withdrawal of the U.S. troops will help stabilize the situation in the country.

"The U.S. presence only exacerbates the criminal situation and prevents the restoration of peaceful life in the country," he added.

Mizintsev said the U.S. liberation of Raqqa resulted in total destruction of once prosperous city.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.

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