US Coalition Unable to Complete Defeat of Daesh Near Syria's Hajin - Russian MoD

© AP Photo / APTVAmerican soldier standing on an armored vehicle
American soldier standing on an armored vehicle - Sputnik International
The Russian Defence Ministry has commented on the disagreements with the United States over the landmark INF Treaty, as well as the situation in Syria, particularly in areas, controlled by the US-led coalition and its allies.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu recently sent two notes to US Secretary of Defence James Mattis, one of them was about Syria, the ministry stated. The document stressed that the forces, led by the US, show a modest progress in fighting jihadists in the country.

"…the US-led international coalition has been unable to complete the defeat of Daesh* terrorist units near the locality of Hajin in the past 6 months", the ministry said.

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According to the statement, 2,000 militants continued to control nine settlements along the east bank of the Euphrates River, where in recent months at least 1,500 civilians have been killed in US-led coalition airstrikes.

The ministry, said Shoigu in the note to Mattis, also focused on the problem of the Rukban camp, where over 50,000 Syrians are located.

"The American military base in At Tanf and the US-controlled armed gangs in that area are the main obstacles for the Rukban refugees in obtaining the necessary assistance and organising their return to their former homes", it said.

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The document also expressed deep concern over the growing Kurdish-Arab contradictions, pointing out there had been no progress in the US-supported "autonomous administration" on the east bank of the Euphrates in restoring peaceful life to Syria, adding that hydrocarbon smuggling, which was taking place with actual US connivance, negatively affected the prospects of restoring the Syrian economy.

Contradictions Over INF

The ministry also reported that the second note, sent to Mattis by Shoigu included a proposal to discuss disagreements on the terms of compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, however, Moscow has never received any response to this suggestion.

"The head of the Russian military proposed discussing with James Mattis the existing bilateral disagreements on the terms of compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. It has been emphasised that Russia is ready for an open and detailed dialogue with the Pentagon on all pressing bilateral issues. However, three days [after the notes were received], the Russian Defence Ministry has not even received a formal response to this proposal from the US military", the statement read.

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In early December, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US would suspend its adherence to the treaty within 60 days unless Russia returned to full compliance with the agreement. Moscow has repeatedly rejected the claims, emphasising that the US Aegis systems, deployed in Europe may jeopardise the treaty.

The agreement was signed in 1987 between the Soviet Union and the United States. The agreement obligated the parties to destroy their ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles whose ranges are between 500 and 5,500 kilometres (from 311 to 3,317 miles).

*Daesh, also known as IS/ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State, is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia

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