16:45 GMT21 June 2021
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    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)

    The Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that it was surprised by the "blindness" of US authorities in regard to photo evidence showing trucks delivering Daesh oil to Turkey.

    "Finally, our colleagues from the [US] State Department and the Pentagon confirmed that photo evidence we had presented at a briefing (showing the routes of oil smuggling from terrorist-controlled areas) is authentic. However, their claims that they 'do not see the border crossings with tank trucks that cross the border', cause a smile, at least because the photo is a static image," Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

    The Russian Defense Ministry holds press briefing
    Russian Defence Ministry
    The Russian Defense Ministry holds press briefing

    "When US officials claim that they do not see oil smuggled by terrorists to Turkey, it looks like an outright patronage rather than slyness," Konashenkov added.

    Earlier, a US Department of State official told journalists that the Russian Defense Ministry photos showing hundreds of trucks with Daesh oil are authentic. He noted, however, that "what I have not seen is imagery of the border crossing with trucks crossing the border, and that's because I don't believe that exists."

    On Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry provided satellite images showing Daesh transporting up to 200,000 barrels of oil in at least 1,722 trucks to third-party countries, most notably Turkey on the northern border. Pentagon rejected Russia’s evidence of Turkey’s involvement in oil deals with Daesh militants.

    Pentagon has all reconnaissance means necessary to record oil smuggling from the territories controlled by Daesh to Turkey, ministry's spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

    "If even this is not enough for our American colleagues, we advise to watch video from their drones, the number of which, by the way, recently tripled over the Syrian-Turkish border and the oil-bearing regions, controlled by terrorists."

    The recent statements made by US officials concerning the developments in Syria are based on double standards and remind of "theater of the absurd," Konashenkov said.

    "In general, the recent statements by representatives of the Pentagon and the [US] State Department remind of 'theater of the absurd,' based on double standards and the wordplay," Konashenkov said at a press briefing.

    "First they see something, then they don't. They divide the opposition into moderate and non-moderate. Even terrorists, in their view, are bad or very bad," he added.

    The US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter stated earlier that over the last month the US aviation has been destroying only profitable terrorist facilities.

    The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman commened on this statement saying that: "Can the statement be treated as the Americans have been eliminating only unprofitable terrorist objects for a year and a half?"

    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)


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