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Moscow Urges OHCHR to Stop 'Juggling Facts' About Civilian Deaths in Raqqa

© REUTERS / Rodi SaidSmoke rises from the Raqqa province Syria. (File)
Smoke rises from the Raqqa province Syria. (File) - Sputnik International
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The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday called on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to refrain from "juggling facts" with regard to the situation of civilian casualties in Raqqa.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The comment comes after the OHCHR published a press release on August 31 focusing on the situation in the Syrian city of Raqqa occupied by Daesh (outlawed in Russia) terrorist group, and the casualties caused by anti-terror airstrikes.

"Several details [of the press release] attract attention. After information about airstrikes by the US-led coalition, the press-release includes information which is not related to the activities of the aforementioned coalition, focusing on the activities of Russia's Aerospace Forces in Syria and then details the civilian casualties in Raqqa. So it creates the impression that the Russian Aerospace Forces are connected to the deaths of civilians. The cynicism of such a 'juggling of the facts' has exceeded all previous politically motivated statements of the OHCHR," the statement said.

Smoke rises from Raqqa, Syria July 28, 2017 - Sputnik International
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The ministry expressed hope that the OHCHR would be more objective in covering the facts in the future and would be more responsible when preparing such documents.

Russia began a counterterror campaign in Syria on September 30, 2015, following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Raqqa has been controlled by Daesh since 2013. In June, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), supported by an international coalition led by the United States, started an operation aimed at the liberation of the city. At the same time the activities of the coalition in Syria are not authorized by the UN Security Council or by Damascus.

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