Moscow: Civilian Deaths Caused by US Raid in Syria Should Be 'Thoroughly Investigated' if Confirmed

© AFP 2023 / YURI KADOBNOVA man walks in front of a tower of the Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry building in central Moscow on September 10, 2020.
A man walks in front of a tower of the Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry building in central Moscow on September 10, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.02.2022
The Syrian military confirmed to Sputnik that 13 people were killed during Thursday's US special forces operation to assassinate Daesh (ISIS)* leader Abu al-Qurashi. A Pentagon spox said the terror leader's wife and two children died in the assault, while President Biden has said that al-Quarashi blew himself and his family up during the raid.
A "thorough investigation" will be necessary if information about civilian casualties during the raid targeting Daesh "caliph" Abu al-Qurashi is confirmed, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has announced.
"We support the efforts of other states, including members of the US-led international coalition, regarding counter-terrorism. We are ready to cooperate with all interested countries in the interest of establishing an effective joint reaction to this common threat," Zakharova said in a press release on Thursday.

"In our own actions, we are guided by the need to carefully select targets when planning and carrying out pinpoint military operations to exclude the possibility of civilian casualties. We call on other countries directly involved in counter-terrorist operations to do the same," she said.

"If the information about civilian casualties in the course of this US action is confirmed, it should become the subject of a thorough investigation," the spokeswoman stressed.

Zakharova further indicated that "the fact that the Daesh leader was hiding in the village of Atmeh in the Idlib "de-escalation zone" once again clearly demonstrates that this area of northern Syria, which remains outside the control of Syrian authorities, is used by international terrorist organizations as a safe haven."

"This confirms the need to quickly eliminate the outposts of bandits and militants in Idlib, as provided for by the relevant agreements with Turkey," the spokeswoman indicated.
In this Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, file, photo, motor cycles ride past buildings destroyed during the fighting in the northern town of Ariha, in Idlib province, Syria. - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.01.2022
Terrorists Carry Out Five Attacks on Syria's Idlib Zone - Russian Reconciliation Center
President Biden announced on Thursday that the US military had taken al-Qurashi "off the battlefield" in a raid on his Atmeh compound. The president claimed that the terrorist carried out "a final act of desperate cowardice" by blowing himself up, "taking several members of his family with him."
Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby told reporters that there were "strong, strong indications" the terrorists were responsible for the civilian casualties caused in the raid, with al-Qurashi said to have blown up his wife and her two children along with himself.
A building destroyed in the aftermath of a counter-terrorism mission conducted by the U.S. Special Operations Forces is seen in Atmeh, Syria, February 3, 2022. Mohamed Al-Daher/Handout via REUTERS  REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.02.2022
'Final Act of Desperate Cowardice': Biden Claims Daesh Leader Blew Himself Up During US Raid
Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin promised that the Pentagon would "look into" whether any other innocents were killed.

"This operation was specifically designed and conducted in a manner to minimise civilian casualties. We know that al-Qurashi and others at this compound directly caused the deaths of women and children last night. But given the complexity of this mission, we will take a look at the possibility our actions may also have resulted in harm to innocent people," Austin said.

It remains unclear what al-Qurashi was doing living in Idlib. His predecessor, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was also killed in Idlib province during a US special forces raid in October 2019. Idlib is known to be a stronghold for jihadist militants and rebel forces from across Syria, with tens of thousands of fighters and members of their families fleeing there after being ousted in Syrian military operations in other parts of the country. Syria has vowed to restore control of Idlib, but previous attempts to do so have ended in Turkish military attacks on Syrian troops.
Damascus has demanded that all foreign military forces not invited into the country by its internationally recognized government get out, and has accused the US and Turkey of supporting Daesh and other terrorist militias. The two countries have dismissed the allegations.
* A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала