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Russia dismisses as false reports on alleged civilian deaths from airstrikes in Syria

October 29, 2015, 14:24 UTC+3

Moscow considers spread of such information "part of a propaganda campaign"

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

© Artyom Korotayev/TASS

MOSCOW, October 29. /TASS/. Russia is indignant over the spread of false materials on alleged civilian deaths in Syria from Russian air strikes against terrorists, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

‘We are indignant over the replication of false materials in a report released recently by the UN Secretary General on the humanitarian situation in Syria and, what’s more, with reference to the UN Office for Human Rights, earlier disseminated in the media by some media organizations on alleged civilian deaths in Syria as a result of the Russian air force’s operation in Syria," the spokeswoman said.

"Such insinuations, whoever they may come from and whoever may replicate them, have nothing to do with reality," the Russian diplomat said. 

We consider them to be part of the propaganda campaign we talked about on numerous occasions that has been unleashed against our country. The purpose of this campaign is to distort the counterterrorist actions of the Russian aviation against the background of the results of more than year-long activities, but, by and large, perhaps, the inactivity of the anti-IS [Islamic State] coalition led by the United States. In such circumstances, it is important to steer clear of all information traps planted by some forces," Zakharova said.

She urged the journalistic community "to be more active in quoting what is said at Russian Foreign Ministry’s press briefings, during which numerous photos and video footage about the operation of the Russian Aerospace Forces are demonstrated." "It is necessary to compare these materials with media blunders and draw appropriate conclusions," she noted.

"After close scrutiny any impartial onlooker will have no shade of doubt left regarding the real targets of Russian air strikes. "These targets are exclusively terrorist groups and their locations. Civilian infrastuctures are by no means on the list of Russian air group targets," Zakharova said.

"It is to be hoped that in the future the UN Secretariat will use only reliable and confirmed sources and will leave unnoticed sourceless rumors circulating locally or heard from some Western capitals, anonymous phone calls and statements by some non-governmental organizations," the diplomat said.

Russia dismisses as ‘propaganda’ US embassy information on alleged civilian deaths in Syria

The information spread by the US embassy in Moscow on alleged civilian deaths in Syria from Russia’s air strikes causes serious questions ahead of Vienna meetings, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova went on to say.

"The US embassy in Moscow spread an information material of this kind in the media today that representatives of the opposition, including civilian facilities, rather than terrorists, are allegedly becoming the victims of the Russian military operation in Syria," she said.

This material has reference to the British "Group for Observation of Human Rights in Syria," the spokeswoman added.

"This is taking place ahead of the forthcoming meeting in Vienna and amid calls from the US Department of State with a request to discuss the Syria settlement," the spokeswoman added.

"What is the purpose of doing such things at a time when contacts of representatives of foreign ministries are upcoming in Vienna?" she noted.

"Let me remind you that the Defense Ministry recently invited a US representative to directly ask him questions about the source they were using to get such information. No information was officially transferred to us. At the same time, such propaganda materials — and I can’t call them otherwise — are sent out underhandedly ahead of important events," Zakharova said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said she had doubts that the US Department of State was aware of what its representatives were doing abroad.

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