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MOSCOW, September 17. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry refutes a statement from the Pentagon about a strike of the Russian Aerospace Force on the Syrian opposition, saying all strikes are delivered exclusively on targets of the Islamic State terrorist group (IS), outlawed in Russia.
"The Russian Aerospace Force inflict pinpoint strikes only on targets, confirmed through multiple channels, in the districts controlled by IS," the ministry’s spokesman Igor Konashenkov said. "First of all they destroy the terrorists’ firing points used for massive fire on the Syrian military."
The Pentagon said earlier, military of the Syrian Democratic Forces, supported by the U.S. and its allies, were injured in a Russian air strike.
"At approximately 12:30 a.m. GMT Sept. 16, Russian forces struck a target east of the Euphrates River in Syria near Dayr Az Zawr, causing injuries to Coalition partner forces," says a news release published on Saturday by Operation Inherent Resolve that the U.S.-led coalition carries out in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State terrorist group.
The news release claims that Russia knew there were Syrian opposition forces and coalition’s advisors in the area.
"Several SDF fighters were wounded and received medical care as a result of the strike," the release reads, adding coalition troops were not affected.
According to the Defense Ministry’s spokesman, within a few recent days Russia’s means of control and reconnaissance did not find any clashes between the IS terrorists and armed representatives of any "third force." "Thus, only representatives of the international coalition could explain how into the IS forces in Deir ez-Zor without fighting could have got the "opposition" or "military advisors of the international coalition"," he added.
The Russian spokesman also said "in order to avoid unwanted escalation, command of the Russian grouping in Syria using the existing communication channels notified in advance the U.S. counterparts about borders of the military operation in Deir ez-Zor."
"During this operation, the military destroy manpower, armored vehicles and terrorists’ facilities both on the western and the eastern shores of Euphrates," the general said.