The Russian Defense Ministry has accused the United States and its “coalition against ISIS” in “sumulating” the war against ISIS in Iraq. The ministry noted a low number of the US-led coalition’s airstrikes on ISIS in September when the terrorist group’s members were crossing into Syria.
According to the ministry, the US-led coalitino reduced a number of airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq while terrorists were redeplyoing for a battle against Syrian government forces in the province of Deir Ezzor.
“In the western part of Iraq, from where the terrorist forces are arriving to the eastern bank of the Euphrates River (where the Russian Aerospace Forces are not operating), the [ISIS]IS-controlled territory continues growing, and it is manifold larger than in Syria,” Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday.
He added that the analysis of the statistics provided by the Pentagon on the sorties as part of the campaign to fight ISIS allows “to see some strange changes.”
“For example, in September, with the beginning of the operation conducted by Syrian troops supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces to recapture the Deir Ez-Zor [Deir Ezzor] province from ISIL [ISIS] the US-led international coalition has substantially reduced the intensity of strikes against ISIL in Iraq, to several times per day, carrying out almost five times less strikes than on Syria,” Konashenkvo said. “Strangely enough, this decrease in the intensity of strikes in Iraq has coincided with the redeployment of large terrorist forces from Iraq’s border areas to Deir ez-Zor that are now trying to gain a foothold on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. The US-led coalition imitating the fight against ISIL, above all, in Iraq, sees all that but continues to allegedly actively fight ISIL in Syria, for some reason.“
Konashenkov said that over the last week, Syrian troops and that Russian Aerospace Forces have been focusing on a battle against ISIS in Al-Mayadin city in the Euphrates Valley. Russian aircraft conduct about 150 strikes per day pounding ISIS members near Mayadin.
“Aircraft of Russia’s Aerospace Forces crush these IS forces round-the-clock together with the rounds of ammunition and armored vehicles, delivering up to 150 airstrikes per day,” Konashenkov noted.
However, Despite being almost encircled by the Syrian army in Mayadin, ISIS is replenishing their ranks and supplies in the Euphrates Valley where the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) conduct their own operation against ISIS.
The Russian spokesman questioned real goals of the US-led coalition’s military efforts.
“The ongoing fueling of terrorists from Iraq raises serious questions about the real objectives of anti-terrorist operations conducted in the region by the US and the so-called ‘international coalition’ jets,” Konashenkov said.
In late September, the Russian Defense Ministry released photos showing strongholds of U.S. forces in close proximity to ISIS positions. No fight was observed between the sides according to the ministry.