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MOSCOW, September 29./TASS/. Russia is ready to continue a dialogue with the US on joint action in Syria, but even hints at threats must be ruled out, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday.
"We once again state that we are fully ready for continuing a dialogue with the American side and for continuing work on joint measures in fight against terrorists in Syria," he said.
"However, even signs of threats to our military and Russian nationals must be ruled out in this dialogue. There will be no bargaining in the issues of ensuring the safety of Russian nationals no matter where they stay. This is our main and overriding priority," Konashenkov said.
On Wednesday, US State Department spokesman John Kirby said one of the consequences of the war in Syria could be extremists’ "attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities." "And Russia will continue to send troops home in body bags," he said.
According to Konashenkov, US Department of State spokesman John Kirby’s statement is tantamount to recognition the Syrian opposition is in fact a US-controlled international terrorist alliance.
"Rear admiral turned Department of State spokesman John Kirby, I am certain, is well aware of the after-effects of his statement. His words are the most frank confession by the US side so far the whole ‘opposition’ ostensibly fighting a civil war in Syria is a US-controlled international terrorist alliance," Konashenkov said.
"What makes Kirby’s statement particularly shocking is that the scale of direct US influence on terrorists’ activity is global. That it reaches as far as Russia. The mask comes off, doesn’t it, sirs?" Konashenkov asked.
About Kirby’s speculations Russian troops might sustain losses in Syria Konashenkov said that Russia "knows well as to where in Syria, including Aleppo province, there are ‘clandestine specialists’ who do the operations planning and command the militants’ operations and how many of them there are."
"Should there follow any attempts to act on the threats towards Russia and Russian military servicemen in Syria, the militants may find themselves short of both body bags and the time to get away," Konashenkov said.