Russia denies reports suggesting that 150 civilians died in Syria’s Idlib as a result of Russian airstrikes, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Thursday.
“Syria’s Civil Defense which UK news agency Reuters cites, reporting of alleged civilian deaths, is the same thing as the White Helmets. The attempt of the British to pass these war scammers off as a new brand of objective information sources is a manipulation for amateurs,” he said.
Konashenkov said that Russian planes did not carry out airstrikes in Syria’s residential neighbourhoods, adding that they were focused on hardware, reserves and al-Nusra Front militants.
“The Russian Aerospace Forces’ planes to not carry out airstrikes on reside nail neighbourhoods in settlements to avoid civilian casualties. The targets are terrorist bases, armoured vehicles and munitions depots, identified with unmanned devices and confirmed through other channels,” he stressed.
According to Konashenkov, Russian Aerospace Forces’ airstrikes in Syria’s Idlib derailed an operation of al-Nusra Front, which was trying to rescue militants from encirclement in Hama.
"This week, all airstrikes of Russian planes in the province of Idlib were concentrated on equipment, reserves and groups of Nusra Front militants who were trying to rescue terrorists from the Akerbat encirclement in eastern Hama with a sudden offensive. The actions of Russian planes in Syria derailed this operation, and the terrorists participating in it were destroyed," he said.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported citing opposition rescue workers that Russian and Syrian planes killed at least 150 civilians and injured dozens in in an over a week-long campaign in Idlib.