DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:00 P.M.) – The Russian Defense Ministry denied allegations made by the Pentagon that Russian warplanes had bombed the US-backed Kurdish forces in the eastern Syrian city of Deir Ezzor.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov told reporters that his country’s jets are only striking positions and outposts for the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria.
Konashenkov added that the US military was informed of the military operation conducted by the Syrian Army backed by Russian air force in oil-rich province.
“To avoid unnecessary escalation, the command of the Russian forces in Syria gave the US partners an advance notice, through an existing communications channel, on the [territorial] borders within which the military operation in Deir Ez-Zor would be conducted,” he said.
The predominantly-Kurdish forces – and later on the US military – accused Russia of targeting the US-backed militia on the eastern bank of the Euphrates.