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    A Russian soldier walks to a military vehicle in goverment controlled Hanono housing district in Aleppo, Syria December 4, 2016

    CIA Chief's 'Scorched Earth' Claims About Russia's Op in Syria are 'Cynical'

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    CIA Director John Brennan’s claims that Russia is intentionally turning Syria into a wasteland are unfounded, said Igor Korotchenko, a military analyst and chief editor of the Russian magazine National Defense.

    On Tuesday, Brennan told US media that Russia was playing by its own rules in Syria by pursuing a "scorched earth policy" which has claimed thousands of innocent lives. Brennan said that the United States would never act likewise during a military conflict.

    "This statement by the CIA director is the last salvo in the information war waged by the Barack Obama administration against Russia. These allegations sound cynical, especially taking into account the barbaric nature of the majority of wars the US has waged," Korotchenko told RIA Novosti.

    As an example, the expert referred to the Vietnam War during which the US Air Force killed a large number of civilians in carpet bombings and napalm airstrikes. Korotchenko also recalled the use of American attack drones against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    At the same time, the expert expressed hope that the new CIA head, who will be appointed by Trump in the coming days, will adhere to a more reserved public policy.

    "The head of an intelligence agency should not act as a mouthpiece in an information war. At least, this is not serious," Korotchenko concluded.

    Earlier, Brennan’s statement was also criticized by Franz Klintsevich, the first deputy chairman of the Defense and Security Committee of the Russian parliament's upper house.

    "CIA Director John Brennan has not provided a single piece of evidence on Russia using scorched earth policies in Syria. His statements are as unfounded as accusations of Moscow carrying out cyberattacks during the US presidential elections," Klintsevich was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

    The US has itself practiced the things Brennan accused Russia of doing, namely dropping nuclear bombs on Japan during World War II and invading Iraq, he stressed.

    "Did the United States leave anything but scorched earth, which still yields terrorists, after the invasion of Iraq?" Klintsevich said.

    Russia launched anti-terrorist operation in Syria in September 2015 upon Damascus' request, when the US-led coalition had already been bombing Islamists in Syria and neighboring Iraq for over a year.

    The Russian military has assisted the Syrian Army in the majority of recent battleground events in Syria. In December, Syrian government forces backed by the Russian military liberated Aleppo. A ceasefire regime has been established in Syria and is expected to be followed by peace talks between the Syrian government and moderate opposition.


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    military conflict, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), John Brennan, Syria, United States, Russia
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