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    Deir ez-Zor Strikes Aim Test Russia's Support For Damascus - Opposition Group

    © AFP 2019 / TED ALJIBE
    Middle East
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    The US airstrikes against the Syrian government positions in Deir ez-Zor on Saturday are an act of provocation aimed at testing Russia's support for Damascus, member of the Hmeimim group of internal Syrian opposition Tarek Ahmad told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The attacks by the coalition planes near the Deir ez-Zor airport were first reported by the Syrian army earlier on Saturday. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the attacks saying they killed 62 servicemen and injured 100 more.

    "I have no doubts that the United States planned for this strike, it is a provocation. They want to test Russia and to put Moscow in a difficult situation to test its response, to see if the Russians would go and help the Syrian army in this situation. It was clear to everyone that the Syrian army was fighting against IS in Deir ez-Zor, not rebels," Ahmad said.

    Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting numerous opposition factions and extremist groups, including the Islamic State (IS), which is outlawed in many countries, including Russia. The government-held city of Deir Ez-Zor has been under siege from IS since July 2014.

    The US-led coalition has been carrying out anti-IS strikes since September 2014 without Syrian government consent.


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