Russia has accused the US of defending ISIS terrorists after the White House jeopardised a ceasefire by launching airstrikes against the Syrian Army.
Putin has called an emergency UN Security Council meeting after US-led coalition forces killed 62 Syrian soldiers and injuring 100 more.
The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a blistering attack on the Obama administration, accusing them of serving ISIS interests.
“If previously we had suspicions that Al-Nusra Front is protected this way, now, after today’s airstrikes on the Syrian army we come to a really terrifying conclusion for the entire world: The White House is defending IS [Islamic State, formerly ISIS/ISIL],” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Rossiya 24.
“We demand a full and detailed explanation from Washington. That explanation must be given at the UN Security Council,” she added.
The statement by the Foreign ministry comes in the wake of accusations by Russia that the United States has not been dealing in good faith in the ceasefire agreement with Russian General Vladimir Savchenko saying that “the situation is worsening” with rebel forces escalating their attacks since the agreement went into force on September 12.
“Russia is exterting all possible effort to restrain Government troops from returning fire,” Senior Army General Viktor Poznikhir said.
The harsh response by Russia comes not only after the United States attempted to flip the blame on Moscow for the attack that killed 80 forces according to the SANA news agency, but also after reports that Daesh terrorists engaged in a major offensive right after the American airstrike crippled the Assad regime’s forces.
Speaking on Rossiya 24 Television the Rusisan Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said: “If earlier we had suspicions that the Nusra Front is protected this way, now, after today’s airstrikes on the Syrian army we come to a really terrifying conclusion for the entire world: the White House is defending IS [Islamic State or Daesh).”
The ministry added that the Russian side had never been notified of US plans to carry out bombings in the Deir ez-Zor area.
“Immediately after the airstrike by coalition planes, Islamic State militants launched their offensive,” said the chief of the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria, Lieutenant General Vladimir Savchenko. He added that the Russian air force intervened immediately to halt terrorist advances and have conducted at least 10 airstrikes on Islamists’ positions since 7:00pm local time.
“[US coalition] strikes have cleared the way for ISIS fighters to take over Deir ez-Zor city now,” confirmed Syrian Minister of Defense Fahd Jassem al-Freij. “It is only because of Russian Air Force support [that] the offensive of the terrorist group was stopped. We request that the air support for the Syrian armed forces be continued by the Russian air force in order to destroy the terrorists.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that US air strikes against Syrian government forces jeopardize the Syrian ceasefire deal reached between Moscow and Washington on September 9.
From CENTCOM's just issued statement on airstrikes in Syria pic.twitter.com/U6beoZQCp5
— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) September 17, 2016
However, an unnamed US military official told Reuters that he was “pretty sure” that the targets hit in US-led coalition air strike on Saturday had been Syrian forces.
According to the official, the bombings in Deir ez-Zor were carried out using US intelligence, which was being gathered for days. The US attack stopped as soon as Russia notified the American side that they had been hitting the Syrian military, the source added.
A senior Obama administration official told AP that the United States expressed “regret” for the unintentional loss of lives of Syrian forces, with the message to Damascus allegedly having been relayed through Russia. The official, who requested anonymity, added that the US will continue to pursue compliance with the ceasefire previously agreed upon with Russia.