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‘Deliberate hoax’: Russian military denies NGO report of airstrikes in Idlib

‘Deliberate hoax’: Russian military denies NGO report of airstrikes in Idlib
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports of Russian airstrikes on two villages in Idlib province have nothing to do with reality, the Russian military said, adding that none of its planes operated in that area on Monday.

“The information provided by the British NGO is a deliberate hoax,” Rear Admiral Oleg Zhuravlev, head of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation in Syria, said at a briefing.

Earlier in the day, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) claimed that an airstrike by Russian and Syrian forces on the villages of Kansafra and Al-Bara in Idlib led to the “killing and injuring of nearly ten Turkish soldiers.”

Also on rt.com US proposals to start dialogue with terrorists in Idlib are unacceptable – Russian FM

Ankara has not reported any casualties among its troops in Syria, however.

The SOHR claim came at a moment when Russia and Turkey stand on the brink of war over Syria. Ankara sent troops to Idlib – the last remaining terrorist stronghold in Syria – two weeks ago, provoking deadly clashes with the advancing Syrian army. Turkey has demanded Russia to pressure its allies in Damascus into ceasing its operations in the area, while Moscow blamed Ankara of not fulfilling it earlier promise to separate the “moderate” rebels from terrorists.

Last Thursday, Russian bombers struck militants who had launched an attack on Syrian positions with the support of Turkish artillery. However, both Russia and Turkey said they weren’t looking for a military conflict. A new round of consultation between the sides is being prepared in order to defuse the situation in Idlib, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced on Monday.

Also on rt.com Putin & Erdogan to ‘intensify contacts’ over Syria, but no sign of peace in Idlib yet

SOHR has been one of the key sources of Western media since the conflict in Syria broke out in 2011. However, a 2015 investigation revealed that the entire organization was run by a single man in Coventry, a former convict who fled Syria for the UK and has not been there since.

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