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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Russia rejects accusations of airstrikes on Syria's Idlib

Iran Press TV

Tue Feb 7, 2017 4:42PM

Russia has refuted reports about its alleged role in air raids on Syrian city of Idlib, saying its jets have not targeted the militant-held northwestern city since the start of 2017.

"Russian military planes did not carry out a single strike in Idlib yesterday, or this week, or even since the beginning of 2017," Russia's Defense Ministry said in a statement released on Tuesday, adding, "Any information on these strikes are well-known lies."

Earlier on Tuesday, airstrikes reportedly hit Idlib, leaving fatalities and destruction.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), affiliated to Syria opposition groups, said 26 people were killed, including 10 civilians. However, the so-called Syria Civil Defense in Idlib, which is run by the opposition, said 15 bodies were recovered and 30 people were taken to hospital.

The SOHR said it was not clear if the Idlib strikes were carried out by Syrian, Russian or the US-led coalition.

Moscow launched its campaign against Daesh and other terror outfits in Syria at the Syrian government's request in September 2015. Its aerial campaign has helped Syrian forces conduct counterterrorism operations against foreign-backed militants.

This as the US-led coalition has also been conducting air raids against what are said to be Daesh terrorists inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate. The strikes have led to civilian deaths and failed to counter terrorism.

5,500 militant positions hit since start of 2017

Separately on Tuesday, the chief of the main operational directorate of the general staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoi, said almost 5,500 terrorist-held positions had been targeted in the Syrian and Russian airstrikes since the beginning of this year.

The Syrian army, supported by Russia's air cover, had hit more than 4,600 Daesh facilities, Rudskoi said.

The Russian Aerospace Forces had also destroyed 892 terrorist targets near the flashpoint Syrian town of al-Bab, he added.

"Currently, the [Syrian] government troops, with support from Russia's Aerospace Forces, are conducting successful offensive operations against the Daesh terrorist group," the officer said.

The Syrian army troops and allied fighters have been fighting against different terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the Arab country since 2011 and have made sweeping gains against Takfiri elements.

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