MOSCOW, June 9. /TASS/. The emergence of the Islamic State terror group (IS) is a result of the US military invasion of Iraq, while most of the weapons that the US provided to the Syrian armed opposition units fell into the hands of militants from the IS and Jabhat al-Nusra (both terror groups are outlawed in Russia), Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov told reporters on Saturday.
"We are surprised at Pentagon Chief James Mattis’s verbal manipulations in regard to developments in Syria," he said, commenting on the US defense secretary’s statement in which he said that Bashar al-Assad, supported by Iran and Russia, had led the Syrian people to a catastrophe, while the mostly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces was the only organization that had succeeded in defeating terrorists in Syria.
"We would like to remind Mattis that the emergence and development of the ISIL [the former name of the IS - TASS] in Iraq was a direct and undisputed result of the US military invasion of the country under a false pretext about Saddam Hussein’s possession of chemical weapons," Konashenkov pointed out.
He stressed that "the ISIL group’s further expansion to Syria became possible because of the culpable inaction of the United States and the so-called US-led coalition, which made it possible for ISIL militants to promptly take control of major oil-fields in eastern Syria and ensured their steady revenue from the illegal trade of petroleum products."
"All this time, Washington has been focused on providing financial support and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of weapons to the imaginary ‘Syrian opposition.’ However, most of the weapons and ammunition provided by the US fell into the hands of Jabhat al-Nusra, affiliated with Al-Qaeda, and the ISIL, whose objective to topple the legitimate Syrian government coincided with Washington’s goals," the Russian defense ministry spokesman said.