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Russian Defense Ministry says fleeing Syria militants are disguised as Aleppo civilians

February 11, 11:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to the ministry spokesman, Russian warplanes and Syrian government troops never target civilians
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© EPA/SEDAT SUNA

MOSCOW, February 11./TASS/. Terrorists in Syria are trying to flee to Turkey ‘blending into’ civilians of Aleppo as they know Russian warplanes don’t attack peaceful population, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday.

"Mass desertion is fixed among gunmen groups operating in the area of Aleppo. Terrorists intimidate local population and use force to drive people to the Turkish border," he said.

Dropping their weapons, gunmen are trying to hide among these crowds as Russian warplanes and Syrian government troops never target civilians, he told reporters.

Russia’s intelligence system in Syria rules out risks for civilians

According to the officer, Russia has deployed a multi-layered intelligence system together with partners in Syria which rules out any risks for peaceful civilians.

"The Russian Armed Forces, together with partners, have deployed a multi-layered intelligence system that ensures reliable detection of targets. Only after multiple checks of the obtained data and ruling out any risks for peaceful civilians, airstrikes are delivered at those targets," Konashenkov said.

Konashenkov also said western media were showing footage of Aleppo that was destroyed before the operation of the Russian Aerospace Forces began, to pass it off as the aftermath of Russian airstrikes.

Syrian opposition shifts to cooperation with government 

The spokesman pointed out that Syrian opposition groups are shifting to cooperation with the government, adding that in Daraa Province several groups agreed to lay down arms after talks.

"Syrian opposition groups have been productively sharing intelligence with us. Many are shifting to cooperation with the Syrian government," he said.

On February 8, armed groups in Atbaa, Daraa province, laid down arms after negotiations and Syria’s state flag was hoisted over the city.

Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes in Syria at facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organisations - banned in Russia - on September 30, requested by Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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