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    Pentagon Calls Russian MoD Remarks on US Coalition's Aims in Syria 'Ridiculous'

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    The Pentagon has again responded to a statement made by the Russian Defense Ministry earlier this week, accusing the US of supporting terrorists in Syria.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The aim of the US-led coalition in Syria is to fight Daesh terrorist group (ISIS, Islamic State, banned in Russia), any claims to the contrary are ridiculous, a Pentagon spokesperson told Sputnik on Friday commenting on a statement made by the Russian Defense Ministry, saying that the United States "supporting and flirting with" terrorists is the main obstacle for defeating them.

    "The coalition's mission in Syria is to defeat ISIS [Daesh] and prevent its return to liberated areas. Any claims to the contrary are ridiculous. U.S. forces operating in Syrian territory operate under authorities to combat terrorism, and will continue to advise and assist partner forces as long as ISIS remains either a conventional or insurgent threat. The coalition continues its mission to train partner forces in the tri-border region as part of its campaign to defeat ISIS throughout Syria and Iraq," the spokesperson said.

    The Pentagon told Sputnik on Friday it encouraged the Syrian government forces’ and Russian efforts to focus on Daesh terrorist group and prevent "unnecessary conflict."

    "We encourage regime and Russian efforts to focus on ISIS, and prevent unnecessary conflict that distracts from that mission and fosters further unrest in Syria. The U.S. continues to seek successful de-confliction of all operations, but remains prepared to act in self-defense of U.S. troops and out partners," a spokesperson said.

    The Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that it had warned the United States that any allegedly attacks by terrorists from zone controlled by US forces would be repelled, adding a series of Daesh attacks against the Syrian forces have been carried out from the areas where the "US military mission" is deployed. The same day, the Pentagon denied complicity with Daesh in Syria.

    On September 28, a group of 300 Daesh militants left the city of Rubkan moving in the direction of the city of Al-Qaryatayn in the Homs province. The militants managed to avoid the Syrian army's hidden posts using coordinates that can only be obtained through aerial reconnaissance and attacked Syrian positions. On the same day, another Daesh group conducted a number of attacks against the Syrian forces along the strategic road connecting Palmyra and Deir ez-Zor.

    Earlier in September, the Russian Defense Ministry published a batch of aerial pictures showing that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US troops that support them are present in Syria's areas held by Daesh.

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    Daesh, Syria, United States, Russia
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