Russian forces did not target Kurdish-led SDF units near Deir ez-Zor – Moscow

The Russian Air Force did not perform airstrikes on Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near Syrian city of Deir Ez-Zor, the Defense Ministry said. The SDF earlier accused Russia of repeatedly targeting its positions near a major gas field.

While the Russian Air Force operates in the area supporting the advances of Syrian government forces, it performs strikes solely on terrorist positions, ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said.

“In the course of the Syrian Army operation to exterminate the last [Islamic State or IS, formerly ISIS] stronghold in Dei ez-Zor, the Russian Air Force performs precision strikes on terrorist-held objects, according to intelligence confirmed through several channels. The strikes are performed on detected IS positions, which fire at Syrian troops, as well as on terrorist reserves coming from the rear,” Konashenkov said.

Russian intelligence and drones monitor the Deir ez-Zor area round the clock, he added, noting that they did don register “any engagements between SDF militants and IS terrorists rearward.”

“That specifically relates to the area of hydrocarbon fields in the province, where the militants fiercely resist the advancing Syrian troops,” Konashenkov said.