Russia says US must disclose location of Syria moderates to avoid hits

July 24, 2016 6:00 pm

This file photo taken from the
official website of the Russian Defense Ministry shows a bomb being
released from a Russian strike fighter in .

has called on the
 to disclose the location of what Washington calls “moderate”
militants in Syria after their bases were allegedly bombed by Russian
jets near the Jordanian border. 

The US has accused
Russia of bombing the At-Tanf military camp where a meeting of US-backed
militants was allegedly underway to coordinate their attacks against
purported Daesh terrorists.
The camp was used by US and British
troops who had withdrawn a day before the Russian raid. A US official
has claimed that several militants were killed in the Russian airstrike
against the site.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov

Commenting
on the claims, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor
Konashenkov put the blame squarely on US authorities, saying they were
refusing to give the coordinates of “moderate” militants and where they
were based.
“Military chiefs of the special units of the anti-ISIL
coalition countries are exclusively accountable for the fact that their
troops are exposed to danger in the areas targeted by the Russian
Aerospace Forces,” Konashenkov said, using an alternative name for
Daesh.

“We are constantly calling, using all available
channels, on our partners to provide information on the whereabouts of
‘moderate opposition’ units that they control. But instead, we only hear
post factum reproaches and accusations indicating that the aviation of
the Russian Aerospace Forces should not have carried out strikes on
certain areas or targets,” he added.

The Russian
Defense Ministry spokesman further said that the recurrence of such
incidents can only be prevented through “joint actions.”

In this file photo, Daesh militants are seen in the town of Tell Abyad, in northern Syria. (By Reuters)

Since
September 2014, the US and some of its Arab allies have been carrying
out airstrikes against what they call Daesh positions inside Syria
without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate but the attacks
have done little to stop the Takfiri group’s advances.
In
September 2015, Russia launched an aerial campaign of its own against
the terrorists in Syria on an official request from the Syrian
government.
Russia has long contested the US claim that “moderate”
armed groups exist in Syria. Moscow, however, has expressed readiness
for enhanced cooperation with Washington in the fight against
terrorists.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy
since March 2011. United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de
Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the
conflict.
The UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria,
citing its inability to verify the figures that it receives from
various sources.

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