02:47 GMT14 April 2021
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    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)

    The Russian Defense Ministry is surprised over a statement made by the French defense minister, who said that Russia's actions in Syria "do not convince" Paris that the fight against terrorism is Moscow's priority.

    "A statement made by the French defense minister [Jean-Yves Le Drian] that Russian aviation's actions in Syria 'do not convince Paris' that the fight against Islamists is our priority raises eyebrows," Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Saturday.

    On Thursday, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian claimed that Russia's actions in Syria were "insufficient," adding that they do not convince Paris that Moscow's priority is the fight against terrorism.

    "We want to remind the [French minister] that the main and only aim of the Russian operation in Syria is to destroy a hotbed of terrorism, which came close to completely engulfing the territory of a UN member-state last year," Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

    Konashenkov said that the results of the Russian aerial campaign in Syria should not be evaluated by statements about the number of bombs striking Daesh targets but by hundreds of towns and villages, which were liberated by the Syrian army and the country's patriotic opposition, as well as by thousands of square kilometers of Syrian territory freed from terrorists.

    On Friday, the Russian General Staff said that over 100 days of the Russian military operation, 217 populated areas and over 1,000 square kilometers in Syria had been liberated from terrorists.

    The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman added that those who had armed and supported Islamist "opposition" groups in Syria since 2011 were to blame for the spread of terrorism in the country.

    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)


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    anti-terrorist operation, airstrike, Daesh, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Igor Konashenkov, Syria, Russia
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