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MOSCOW, July 1. /TASS/. Most of ceasefire violations in Syria are reported from areas controlled by the U.S.-backed opposition, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkoc said on Friday.
"We were bewildered to hear Pentagon chief Ashton Carter’s free interpretation of the goals and content of the Russian-U.S. agreements on ceasefire and ensuring peace settlement of the Syrian crisis. We gave no promises when we started our operation in Syria. We have been acting and will continue to act against international terrorist groups that were swallowing a United Nations member state in front of the eye of the entire world, including the United States," he said.
"Similar attempts to stop the spread of this evil taken by the U.S.-led ‘international coalition,’ which has much bigger resources, participants and much more time, have, regrettably, yielded no visible results. Before dwelling on what is right and what is wrong or before assessing the efficiency of the Russian military in Syria, one should not lose sight of their key goal, i.e. extermination of terrorists and reestablishment of peace in that country," Konashenkov said.
"In this respect, we would like to remind the Pentagon chief that miring of the peace process and permanent violations of the ceasefire regime are now reported from those Syrian regions that are controlled by the U.S.-backed opposition, i.e. from those region where, at the strong request of our American partners, the Russian air force is not used even when we have incontestable proof of the presence of forces of international terrorist groups instead of ‘opposition’ there," he said.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said on Thursday Russia's position on Syria is unhelpful. "The Russians got off on the wrong foot in Syria," he said. The stated purpose of Russia’s airstrikes was "to fight ISIL and assist the political transition in Syria towards a post-Assad government. They haven’t done either of those things. If the Russians would do the right thing in Syria and that's an important condition as in all cases with Russia, we're willing to work with them," Carter said.