MOSCOW, December 2. /TASS/. Rumors about a Russian air raid on a refugee camp in Syria last August have nothing to do with reality, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Monday.
"To the regret of those who had ordered this fake we have to reiterate that the coordinates of targets and reports of the accomplished missions are never radioed verbally and openly," Konashenkov stated.
He said "absurd accusations by the fake’s authors are based on a video footage of unknown origin showing White Helmets swindlers rushing about in front of the camp’s buildings, images of blue skies where a Russian plane were allegedly seen and fragments of phrases spoken in Russian and attributed to Russian air pilots."
"The fake says that NYT journalists spent tremendous effort over several months to come up with a transcript of Russian air pilots’ conversations in Syria. All of the newspaper’s far-fetched pseudo-proofs are primitive and meaningless. It was a shot in the dark, as the saying goes. It is anyone’s guess what NYT journalists spent many months and the daily’s money on in reality," Konashenkov remarked.
He added that on November 27, several days before the story’s publication, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (a non-governmental organization based in London — TASS), "notorious for its fakes, all of a sudden said that in October it had signed a contract with NYT on joint investigations of war crimes in Syria."
"As far as the previous, October fake by the NYT is concerned, we expressed regret that such an authoritative periodical fell victim to manipulations by terrorists and their White Helmets henchmen. This time such regret is out of place, because all happened by mutual consent," Konashenkov concluded.
In October, NYT published the results of its own investigation reportedly based, it said, on a transcript of radio exchanges between Russian air pilots’ crews, registered movements of Russian military planes, eyewitness testimonies and notes by the owners of accounts registered in Syria. The article claimed that Russian planes were flying over four hospitals in Idlib at the moment the latter had come under air attacks on May 5-6. The strikes were allegedly carried out precisely against civilian facilities on the deconflicting list with the purported aim to wipe out the last pockets of resistance to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.
The Russian Defense Ministry slammed the article as a result of cheating by terrorists and British secret services. The allegedly ruined hospital for civilians, it stated, in reality was far away from the community inside a cave once used as a weapons depot.