Kremlin criticizes US presence in Syria for hurdle to peace

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zaharova told reporters on Thursday that "The U.S. illegal armed presence in Syria remains a serious challenge to the progress towards peace in Syria."

Russia on Thursday called the "illegal" U.S. presence in Syria a hurdle to the peace process, accusing it of giving shelter to "militants."

"The U.S. illegal armed presence in Syria remains a serious challenge to the progress towards peace in Syria and the preservation of its unity and territorial integrity," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zaharova told a press conference.

Zaharova claimed that militants use a 55-kilometer zone created unilaterally by the U.S. around their military base in southern Syria near the village of At Tanf to hide from regime forces.

"Militants hide from the persecution of Syrian government forces, regroup there, arming for new attacks in the Syrian desert," she said.

Turkey has complained of the U.S. forces in Syria supporting and supplying arms to the terrorist PYD/PKK.