September 17, 2017 – Fort Russ News – Paul Antonopoulos
Russia’s Defense Ministry has refuted the Pentagon and Kurdish made claim that it targeted units of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Deir Ezzor and clarified that the Russian Aerospace Force exclusively on targets ISIS in this part of Syria.
“The Russian Aerospace Force inflict pinpoint strikes only on targets, confirmed through multiple channels, in the districts controlled by ISIS,” the ministry’s spokesman Igor Konashenkov said. “First of all they destroy the terrorists’ firing points used for massive fire on the Syrian military.”
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Yesterday, Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, released a statement saying Russia targeted the SDF.
“At approximately 12:30 a.m. GMT Sept. 16, Russian forces struck a target east of the Euphrates River in Syria near Deir Ezzoe, causing injuries to Coalition partner forces,” the statement said.
The news release claims that Russia knew there were Syrian opposition forces and coalition’s advisors in the area.
“Several SDF fighters were wounded and received medical care as a result of the strike,” the release reads, adding coalition troops were not affected.
According to the Defense Ministry’s spokesman, within a few recent days Russia’s means of control and reconnaissance did not find any clashes between the IS terrorists and armed representatives of any “third force”, Tass reported. “Thus, only representatives of the international coalition could explain how into the IS forces in Deir Ezzor without fighting could have got the “opposition” or “military advisors of the international coalition”,” he added.
The Russian spokesman also said “in order to avoid unwanted escalation, command of the Russian grouping in Syria using the existing communication channels notified in advance the U.S. counterparts about borders of the military operation in Deir Ezzor.”
“During this operation, the military destroy manpower, armored vehicles and terrorists’ facilities both on the western and the eastern shores of Euphrates,” the general said
Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies. He has an MA in International Relations and is interested in Great Power Rivalry as well as the International Relations and Political Economy of the Middle East and Latin America.