On June 9, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said that the remaining strongholds of ISIS in Syria are located in areas controlled by the US-led coalition, according to the Russian news outlet Sputnik.
“As for the current situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, we recommend the Pentagon chief to examine the map showing the situation in this country. All remaining pockets of resistance of Daesh [ISIS] terrorists in Syria are located only in areas controlled by the United States,” Konashenkov said in an official statement.
Maj. Gen. Konashenkov statement is likely a response to remarks by US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, who said earlier that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad had triggered a “disaster” “upon his people in Syria” with the help of Russia and Iran.
In his statement, Maj. Gen. Konashenkov said that the Russian MoD was bewildered by “verbal manipulations” of Mattis and noted that the “real disaster” of the Syrian people is in the areas of al-Tanaf and Raqqa , where the US-led coalition and its proxies are illegally deployed.
“The vast majority of US-supplied arms and ammunition fell into the hands of the Syrian al-Qaeda branch – Nusra Front [currently known as Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham] and Daesh, who sought, like Washington, to overthrow the legitimate Syrian government,” Konashenkov said.
This month, ISIS launched two major attacks from areas besieged by the US-led coalition on strategic positions of the SAA and its allies in southern Deir Ezzor. Local observers believe that the coalition is not only ignoring these hostile acts, but also facilitating them.