US strike on Syrian Army borders between negligence & assisting ISIS - Moscow
The US-led coalition air strikes on the Syrian Army positions near the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor borders between “gross negligence” and “direct assistance” to ISIS militants, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“The coalition pilots’ actions - if they, as we hope, were not ordered by Washington – were on the edge between gross negligence and direct assistance to Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] terrorists,” the ministry’s statement said.
The air strike that killed 62 Syrian soldiers outside the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor on Saturday was “inevitable given the stubborn refusal by the US to cooperate with Russia in combatting IS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other affiliated terrorist groups,” it states.
The air strikes against the Syrian Army’s positions were conducted by two F-16 fighter jets and two A-10 ground attack aircraft, the Russian Defense Ministry said earlier on Saturday. Syrian SANA news agency reported than an Islamic State offensive started shortly after Syrian Army positions were attacked from the air.
Russia is gravely concerned by the fact that the air strikes took place amid multiple documented cases of the nationwide ceasefire being violated by the Syrian rebels, the Foreign Ministry added.
“Again, we call on Washington to put pressure on the US-controlled militants to ensure that they respect the ceasefire conditions. Otherwise, the entire set of Russia-US arrangements made in Geneva on September 9 might be endangered, which is contrary to the interests of the international community.”