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Russian Defense Ministry disproves media reports about Russian airstrikes in Palmira

October 06, 2015, 17:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW
A number of foreign media reported earlier with reference to an anonymous military source in Syria that Russian planes allegedly delivered airstrikes on Palmira that is occupied by IS militants
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© Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP

MOSCOW, October 6. /TASS/. The foreign media reports alleging that Russian planes have made airstrikes on Syria’s Palmira city are untrue, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday.

A number of foreign media outlets reported previously with reference to an anonymous military source in Syria that Russian planes allegedly delivered airstrikes on Palmira that is occupied by militants of the outlawed in Russia Islamic State organization.

"All foreign media reports suggesting that Russian planes have allegedly launched airstrikes on the city of Palmira are totally untrue," he said.

"Our aviation in Syria does not target populated localities, the more so the local architectural monuments," the spokesman said. He said that "the Islamic State militants have so far been actively taking advantage of this circumstance and being in Palmira, according to the same foreign media reports, have recently blown up the famous Arch of Triumph there," Konashenkov said.

AFP reported on October 5 that Islamic State extremists have blown up the famous Arch of Triumph in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, the country’s head of antiquities said Monday, as the jihadists press their campaign to tear down the treasured heritage site.

The Russian aviation group launched an operation to make pinpoint airstrikes on the Islamic State facilities in Syria on September 30. The Russian Aerospace Force group in Syria comprises more than 50 planes and helicopters.

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