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Russian Army’s General Staff refutes reports on alleged destruction of mosque in Syria

October 30, 2015, 20:29 UTC+3

The aerial photographs made by Russian pilots on October 29 show distinctly that the mosque had not sustained any damage, Russian military official says

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© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS Archive

MOSCOW, October 30. /TASS/. A yet another canard circulated by Western media regarding an alleged destruction of the mosque in the name of Umar bin al-Hattab al-Farouk in Syria’s Idlib Governorate stands in a gross discrepancy with reality, the chief of the Main Department for Operations at the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Gen. Andrey Kartapolov told a news briefing on Friday.

"Today we’re showing you the real picture based on the data from objective control instruments," he said. "You can see on the screen the aerial photographs of that very same mosque, which our pilots made yesterday, October 29. These photographs show distinctly that the mosque had not sustained any damage."

"All of these so-called exposures that have been published by a number of respected European media — the British ones, for instance — are little more than commonplace fakes devoid of any factual grounds," Gen. Kartapolov said.

Russia calls on NATO to ground its accusations against Russia of indiscriminate bombing in Syria

NATO’s and other countries’ defense ministries have all the possibilities to present to the world community concrete facts and documents about any actions in Syria, instead of accusing Russia’s aerospace forces of indiscriminate bombings without any proof, Kartapolov went on to say.

"Once again, I call on our Western partners, who are seeking to accuse us of indiscriminate bombings. We know how many satellites and reconnaissance planes are watching Russia’s actions in Syria at any particular minute. So, if defense ministry of NATO and other states want to accuse us of anything, they have all the possibilities to present concrete facts and documents, as we are doing," he reiterated.

Russia’s aerospace forces launched pinpoint strikes against the Islamic State targets in Syria on September 30. The Russian air group in Syria comprises more than 50 warplanes and helicopters. According to Russian Defence Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov, air strikes are delivered at military hardware, communications centres, transport vehicles, munitions depots and other terrorist infrastructure facilities after information about their locations is thoroughly verified. The military operation is conducted at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Russia has repeatedly said it does not plan to take part in any ground operations in Syria.

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