saying a US-led coalition has intentionally reduced the number of its air raids in Iraq to allow terrorists to safely flow into Syria, where government forces have been advancing against Daesh.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the US-led coalition sharply decreased its aerial attacks in Iraq last month, when the Syrian army, backed by Russian airstrikes, had begun to regain control of Dayr al-Zawr Province.
"Everyone sees that the US-led coalition is pretending to fight Islamic State (Daesh), above all in Iraq, but continuing to allegedly fight Islamic State in Syria actively for some reason,” Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said.
Konashenkov added that large numbers of terrorists subsequently moved from Iraqi border areas to Dayr al-Zawr.
"The actions of the Pentagon and the coalition demand an explanation. Is their change of tack a desire to complicate as much as they can the Syrian army’s operation, backed by the Russian air force, to take back Syrian territory to the east of the Euphrates?” asked Konashenkov, in an apparent reference to Dayr al-Zawr. "Or is it an artful move to drive Islamic State terrorists out of Iraq by forcing them into Syria and into the path of the Russian air force’s pinpoint bombing?”
The Syrian army and its allies reached Dayr al-Zawr in September after a months-long offensive across the country’s central desert area.
The Russian spokesman said that the Syrian forces were in the midst of trying to purge the city of al-Mayadin, in Dayr al-Zawr, of Daesh terrorists, but that the Takfiri militants attempted daily to reinforce their ranks there with "foreign mercenaries” pouring in from Iraq.
The US-led coalition of 68 nations has been conducting airstrikes against what it says are Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate. Similar air raids had begun in Iraq in August of the same year.
The coalition’s declared aim has been to degrade and destroy Daesh, something that has not happened based on observations on the ground.