"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.
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.