Moscow dismisses reports of Russian strikes on Syrian village

Moscow dismisses reports of Russian strikes on Syrian village
Russian military has denied media reports of alleged airstrikes on a Syrian village of Ash Sha’fah. The Russian Air Force strikes only terrorist-held targets based on conclusive intelligence, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

“No airstrikes by Russian Airspace Forces were conducted in the village of Ash Sha’fah in the province of Deir ez-Zor,” the Ministry said on Monday.

Reports of alleged strikes emerged on Sunday, citing the controversial UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The organization claimed that the Russian Air Force hit “residential buildings” in the village of Ash Sha’fah on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, killing at least 53 civilians, many of them children. The Observatory did not provide any proof to back up the report.

The Russian Air Force exclusively targets objects controlled by international terrorist organizations, the Defense Ministry stated. Moreover, they do not conduct strikes in densely populated residential areas, it added.

“The information on such [terrorist-held] objects is checked prior to strikes and is verified in real time through several channels, both from the ground and from the unmanned aerial means of objective control,” the Ministry elaborated.

“The reports by the UK-based ‘Syrian Observatory for Human Rights’ on the alleged strikes on the Ash Sha’fah village conducted by the Russian planes are yet another fake,” it concluded.

SOHR, run by an individual residing in the UK, has been reporting on the Syrian conflict for years, claiming to have a wide network of contacts on the ground. Despite the shady sources and lack of proof, the Observatory’s reports have been given widespread coverage in Western media.