DAMASCUS, SYRIA (6:30 PM) – The death of Russian Lieutenant-General Valery Asapov is the fault of the hypocritical attitude displayed by the United States in the campaign against ISIS in Syria, according to Moscow. This was said in an official statement by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov on Monday.
“The death of the Russian commander is the price paid with blood for the hypocrisy of American policy in Syria,” Ryabkov said.
General Asapov was one of the top commanders of the Russian armed forces that are active in support of the Syrian government in the ongoing conflict against ISIS and Al-Qaeda terrorists. He was killed by a terrorist mortar strike on Sunday, near the city of Deir Ezzor, that has recently been liberated by Syrian and Russian forces.
Deputy Minister Ryabkov stated that while Washington keeps up the appearance that it is an active partner in the war against ISIS, the facts on the ground show a different reality. In his statement, Ryabkov called on the US to halt any actions that are at odds with the strategic objective of defeating ISIS in Syria.
Ryabkov’s statement reflects Russia’s disappointment with recent findings by the Russian airforce. Aerial pictures taken in Deir Ezzor Governorate on Sunday show US special forces deployed deep inside ISIS-held territory.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defence, the Americans do not face any “resistance from the ISIS militants” and don’t even have screening patrols near their bases, indicating that they “feel absolutely safe” despite being so close to ISIS encampments. The findings have enraged many in Russia and led to questions about the dedication of Washington to the eradication of the ISIS terrorist organisation.