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US-Led Coalition Strikes on Syrian Army Possibly Not Accidental - UN Envoy

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The US-led anti-terrorist coalition's airstrikes on the Syrian Army may not have been an accident and could be repeated, Russia's envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin said.

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — The Syrian Army confirmed earlier in December an airstrike on Syrian Army positions by US-led coalition aircraft in the Deir ez-Zor area that killed three and wounded 13 servicemen.

"Naturally, there is the suspicion that it was not accidental, that despite all assurances given to the Syrian government that these strikes would not target the Syrian government's forces, the strikes could target government troops from time to time," Churkin told RIA Novosti.

"This will intensify tensions and only complicate the situation in Syria. But let's hope it won't happen," he added.

Churkin said that Moscow was not currently planning to raise the issue of coalition strikes on the Syrian army at the UN Security Council.

"At the moment we don't have any such plans. As dramatic as the situation may be, this is a one-off instance for now," Churkin said.

Oil well pumps are seen in the Rmeilane oil field in Syria's northerneastern Hasakeh province on July 15, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The Russian Defense Ministry said last week that at least four Western coalition warplanes were spotted over Deir ez-Zor in Syria on December 6, when a Syrian Army camp came under attack.

The US-led international coalition has been carrying out an air campaign against the Islamic State (IS, or Daesh in Arabic) in Syria since fall 2014 without a permit from local authorities.

In September, Russia launched its own air operation against Daesh militants at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Daesh is banned in Russia, as well as in the United States, the European Union and elsewhere around the world.

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