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US-led coalition targeted Syrian infrastructure but not IS oilfields - Russian general

January 04, 2017, 15:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman thus commented on a statement by CIA Director John Brennan alleging that Russia was using a "scorched-earth policy" in Syria

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MOSCOW, January 4. /TASS/. The US-led international coalition was bombing the entire Syrian infrastructure, except for oil extraction facilities seized by militants of the Islamic State (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia), Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday.

The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman thus commented on a statement by CIA Director John Brennan alleging that Russia was using a "scorched-earth policy" in Syria.

"Outgoing CIA Director Brennan knows well that long before the operation of the Russian air task force in Syria, the international coalition had been methodically and consistently destroying the entire economic infrastructure of Syria since 2012 to maximally weaken its legitimate government, in spite of all the ensuing hardships for civilians that resulted in the flows of millions of refugees. Surprisingly, the bombings by the United States and the coalition did not target oil extraction facilities already seized by the ISIL and allowing militants to earn tens of millions of US dollars monthly from the illegal sale of oil and use this money to recruit mercenaries from all over the world," he said.

The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman also noted that US planes had used nuclear munitions in Japan in 1945, destroying the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Apart from that, the US military carried out Operation Ranch Hand in Laos and Vietnam in 1962-1971 with the use of chemicals, "which were really scorching everything alive there," he said.

"Moreover, no one in the United States has been punished for this gravest war crime," the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said.

"I also want to mention that the largest wars of the past few decades unleashed by the United States due to false CIA data in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya started, continued and ended everywhere with the destruction of these countries’ economic infrastructure by the US Air Force," he added.

"And it is hardly accidental that major US companies close to the CIA and the Pentagon strangely turned out to be the first in the line for contracts for restoring the largest facilities of the economy and infrastructure," the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said.

The real results of Russia’s operation in Syria were outlined at a final board meeting of Russia’s Defense Ministry at the end of 2016, the spokesman said.

Thus, it was with the assistance of the Russian air task force that the Syrian government troops liberated over 12,000 sq. km. of the Syrian territory, 499 communities and eliminated 35,000 militants, including 204 field commanders, the general said.

"But the main result is that it has become possible without the incumbent US administration and, to be more exact, without the CIA, to conclude for the first time jointly with Iran and Turkey an agreement with the Syrian opposition on the ceasefire that has come into force from December 30 and on preparations for negotiations in Astana on settling the Syrian conflict," the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said.

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