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Russian military deny strike against Syrian opposition units near Deir ez-Zor

The Defense Ministry's spokesman comments on Reuters report about Russia's aircraft allegedly hitting positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces

MOSCOW, September 25. /TASS/. Russia’s defense ministry denied reports that Russian aircraft delivered a strike against US-backed Syrian opposition units, the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces, near Deir ez-Zor, official spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Monday.

During the Syrian forces’ operation on destroying the last foothold of the Islamic State terrorist group in Deir ez-Zor, eastern Syria, "Russia’s Aerospace Forces deliver surgical strikes against the terrorist facilities, which are identified and confirmed via several channels," he said.

The strikes are delivered against the firing points of the IS group, which shells the positions of Syrian forces and also against the terrorists heading from the back areas, Konashenkov said.

Reuters reported earlier citing US-backed Syrian militias that Russian warplanes struck their positions near a large gas field in Deir ez-Zor.

The general stressed that Russian drones and reconnaissance, which monitor the situation in Deir ez-Zor round-the-clock, record no armed clashes involving the Syrian Democratic Forces in the rear guard of the IS terrorists.

"This especially concerns the areas of hydrocarbon deposits in the province where the IS militants are now putting up fierce resistance to the advancing Syrian forces," Konashenkov said.

According to the spokesman, Russia’s defense ministry published on Sunday the impartial and specific evidence, namely photos and aerial photography, confirming the location and movement of fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces and US special ops forces supporting them in the areas controlled by the IS.

"There are no shell craters at these strongholds and more over signs of air bombs hitting the areas near them. Neither the representatives of the Syrian Democratic Forces nor the US Armed Forces have explained or denied this information so far," he said.