Rus­sia re­jects al­le­ga­tion it bombed US-backed fight­ers in Syria

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

Rus­sia’s De­fense Min­istry on Sun­day re­jected al­le­ga­tions it had bombed US-backed mili­tias in Syria, say­ing its planes only tar­geted Is­lamic State mil­i­tants and that it had warned the US well in ad­vance of its op­er­a­tional plans.

US-backed mili­tias said they came un­der at­tack on Satur­day from Rus­sian jets and Syr­ian gov­ern­ment forces in Deir al-Zor prov­ince, a flash­point in an in­creas­ingly com­plex bat­tle­field.

The Syr­ian Demo­cratic Forc- es, an al­liance of Kur­dish and Arab mili­tias fight­ing with the US-led coali­tion, said six of its fight­ers had been wounded in the strike.

But Ma­jor-Gen­eral Igor Konashenkov, a spokesper­son for the Rus­sian De­fense Min­istry, dis­missed the al­le­ga­tions in a state­ment on Sun­day.

Konashenkov said Rus­sian planes had only car­ried out care­fully tar­geted strikes in the area based upon in­for­ma­tion that had been con­firmed from mul­ti­ple sources.

The strikes had only hit tar­gets in ar­eas un­der the con­trol of Is­lamic State, he said.

“To avoid un­nec­es­sary es­ca­la­tion, the com­man­ders of Rus­sian forces in Syria used an ex­ist­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions chan­nel to in­form our Amer­i­can part­ners in good time about the bor­ders of our mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion in Deir alZor,” Konashenkov said.

“In the last few days, Rus­sian sur­veil­lance and re­con­nais­sance did not de­tect a sin­gle clash be­tween Is­lamic State and armed rep­re­sen­ta­tives of any ‘third force’ on the east­ern bank of the Euphrates,” he added.

Sep­a­rately, Franz Klint­se­vich, a mem­ber of Rus­sian up­per house of par­lia­ment’s se­cu­rity com­mit­tee, said there was no proof to un­der­pin the ac­cu­sa­tions against Moscow.

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