NATO rejects media claims alliance unable of quick deploymentWorld October 21, 13:01
Russia has no doubts Iran observes JCPOA - deputy foreign ministerRussian Politics & Diplomacy October 21, 11:04
Monuments to Soviet troops in PolandWorld October 21, 10:57
Putin and Erdogan give positive assessment to joint efforts in Astana processWorld October 21, 3:03
Privileges to certain languages in Ukraine’s education law to worsen situation — diplomatRussian Politics & Diplomacy October 20, 21:46
International balance of forces in Syria after Raqqa’s liberation unclear yet — expertMilitary & Defense October 20, 21:05
Russia to resume import of aubergines, pomegranates from Turkey since October 30Business & Economy October 20, 20:18
International station to orbit Moon at 70,000 km distance from EarthScience & Space October 20, 20:09
US indulging in lies to have UN-OPCW mission’s mandate extended — Foreign MinistryRussian Politics & Diplomacy October 20, 19:31
MOSCOW, March 25. /TASS/. French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s words that a battle to recapture the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State will start in the coming hours are not based on true understanding of the situation "on the ground," Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday.
Raqqa is believed to be an unofficial capital of Islamic State terrorist group (banned in Russia) in Syria. On Friday, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said, "Raqqa is encircled and the battle for Raqqa will start in the coming days."
"Friday’s optimism of the French defense minister, who announced Raqqa is encircled, has some specific national sources of inspiration which are not related to reality and situation ‘on the ground’," Konashenkov said.
"These rosy slogans about the encirclement and speedy victory of the (US-led) coalition in Iraq’s Mosul have ended up with heavy casualties among Iraqi forces and a growing humanitarian disaster," he added. "Even the biggest optimists have stopped hoping that Mosul will be fully recaptured from Islamic State this year. It is evident for any military expert that liberation of Raqqa will not be an easy stroll for the international coalition."
Raqqa may be retaken in case all the forces that fight against terrorism will join efforts, he said.
"Tangible results and deadlines for the operation will directly depend on the understanding and readiness to coordinate their actions with all the forces fighting against international terrorism in Syria," the defense spokesman said.
On Thursday, spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces told the Syrian daily Al-Watan that Kurdish fighters, backbone of the US-led coalition, were about 16 kilometers east of Raqqa and 5-6 kilometers north of it. He claimed the Syrian Democratic Forces would isolate Raqqa in a span of two weeks to start preparations for assault.