Russia rejects allegation it bombed US-backed fighters in Syria

Source:Reuters Published: 2017/9/17 22:53:40

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 Forces, 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 al-Zor," 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.



Posted in: EUROPE,CROSS-BORDERS

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