MOSCOW, November 16. /TASS/. Russian has no evidence to prove that the US-led coalition helped Islamic State (terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) militants leave Syria’s Raqqa but this matter needs thorough probe into, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday, commenting on BBC’s reports about existence of such a collusion.
"I cannot speak about any collusion. We use facts. We have no evidence of any collusion but the fact is that that the actual picture that emerged after such exodus of militants safe and sound has already impacted the situation on the ground, and it is evident," he said.
"Anyway, be it a collusion or not, it needs to be probed into and we have issued a relevant inquiry to Washington," Lavrov stressed.
According to the Russian top diplomat, this issue is to be considered in a broader context. "The problem is that as the only declared goal of the United States’ operation in Syria - extermination of Islamic State - is nearing completion, we hear more and more often, from US officials, including Pentagon chiefs, the US’ special envoy for countering Islamic State, that the United States is not going to leave Syria after the defeat of terrorists until it is sure that political process in that country develops in a right way," he explained.
"We have more and more questions about the United States’ real goals in Syria," he added.
On November 14, BBC disclosed details of a US-and UK-approved secret deal that made it possible for hundreds of Islamic State militants to leave Raqqa with arms and munitions. The US-led coalition has dismissed BBC’s report as untrue, saying it never makes any deals with terrorists.