16:47 GMT +310 December 2019
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    Moscow Slams US Actions in Syria, Including Near Oil Fields, as 'Destructive', 'Inconsistent'

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    Despite scaling down the US military presence in Syria, US President Donald Trump has repeatedly stated that the country intends to retain control of the oil fields in northeastern Syria.

    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov on Friday slammed US actions in Syria as "destructive, inconsistent", especially those regarding the country's oil fields.

    On Elimination of Former Daesh Leader Al-Baghdadi

    According to the senior official, the Russian military does not possess any reliable information about the results of an American operation aimed at eliminating Daesh* leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

    "Our military working on the ground does not have reliable information about the conduct and the results of the mentioned operation to eliminate ex-Daesh field commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi", Syromolotov said, stressing that the Russian Defence Ministry had already commented on the matter.

    US President Donald Trump said on 27 October that al-Baghdadi had been killed in a US operation in Idlib, Syria.

    Commenting on the claim, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that Moscow did not have reliable information that the US military had carried out an operation to eliminate al-Baghdadi. 

    Daesh later confirmed the death of al-Baghdadi and named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurashi as their new leader.

    On Counterterrorism Cooperation With US on Afghanistan 

    Russia has not received an official request from the United States to cooperate on counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov said in an interview with Sputnik.

    "An official request from the US to cooperate on counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan has not come in", the official said, noting, however, that the two sides shared a productive cooperative relationship in the Middle Eastern country.

    He added that Moscow was working to coordinate efforts in Afghanistan to set up another round of peace talks among the parties involved in the inter-Afghan conflict.

    "[Russia] is trying to coordinate efforts in order to create a positive international environment for the achievement of a ceasefire in Afghanistan and to launch peace talks among the conflicting Afghan sides", the diplomat said, adding that constant contact on this issue via multilateral platforms, including the United Nations, helped all sides coordinate steps to address terrorism in Afghanistan.

    On 25 October, Moscow hosted consultations on the Afghan conflict settlement between representatives of Russia, China, the United States, and Pakistan.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia

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    Daesh, control, oil field, Syria, Russia
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