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Lavrov dismisses as speculations reports of hundreds of killed Russians in Syria

Tensions are being fanned over fake news without specific facts being presented, the Russian top diplomat said
Deir ez-Zor, Syria AP Photo
Deir ez-Zor, Syria
© AP Photo

MOSCOW, February 19. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has dismissed reports of hundreds of Russians allegedly killed in Syria as attempts to indulge in speculations on war in that country.

"The stuff we read about hundreds and even thousands of killed Russian mercenaries are attempts to indulge in speculations on the war that regrettably is continuing in Syria," Lavrov told the media on the sidelines of the conference of the international discussion club Valdai entitled Russia in the Middle East: Playing on all Fields.

"I believe that these attempts are not very appropriate, to say the least," Lavrov said. "Tensions are being fanned over fake news without specific facts being presented. An investigation is in progress. Please, stay patient," Lavrov said.

At the beginning of February the CBS television network claimed that Russian citizens were among Syrian pro-government militias who on February 7 allegedly attacked the headquarters of the Washington-backed Syrian Democratic Forces near the village of Khusham, Deir ez-Zor province, on February 7. The US-led coalition dealt a strike on the pro-government forces.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said Syrian militias in Deir ez-Zor came under the coalition’s fire on February 7 due to lack of coordination with the Russian military. Twenty five militias were injured in the incident. There were no Russian military servicemen in the area at that moment, the Defense Ministry said.