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US says its strike on Idlib was ‘precise and targeted response’ to terrorists

The official also accused the Russian media of promoting "inaccurate claims" regarding the US operation

WASHINGTON, September 2. /TASS/. The US operation in Syria’s Idlib governorate was a ‘precise and targeted response’ to leaders of terrorist groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda (outlawed in Russia) whom the United States sees as a threat, a US State Department official told TASS on Sunday.

"We have seen Russian commentary on the strike against Al-Qaida in Syria (AQ-S) leadership carried out on August 31," the source said. "This operation was a precise and targeted response against AQ-S leadership responsible for planning attacks threatening U.S. citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians."

The official also accused the Russian media of promoting "inaccurate claims" regarding the US operation in Idlib.

"We completely reject efforts by Russian media to promote inaccurate claims instead of highlighting the humanitarian crisis being exacerbated by the Assad regime and its allies," the source said. "This is an obvious attempt to divert attention from the universally condemned air strikes by the Assad regime and Russia targeting civilians in Idlib."

"If Russia is serious about its concerns for the displaced and civilians in Syria, it should use its influence with the Assad regime to end indiscriminate aerial bombardments targeting civilians, humanitarians, and infrastructure," he continued.

The official also called upon Iran and Russia to "abide by their commitments to end the violence and allow for unhindered access to address the humanitarian disaster created by the airstrikes as required by UN Security Council Resolution 2254."

The United States carried out an airstrike on an area between Ma’arrat Misrin and Kafr Haya on August 31. According to the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria (part of Russia’s Defense Ministry), the airstrike has left numerous casualties and major destruction.

According to the Russian reconciliation center, the strike came in violation of the earlier reached agreements because Washington had not notified Russia and Turkey about its plans. The Russian military went on to say that the US has jeopardized further implementation of the ceasefire in the Idlib de-escalation zone and also disrupted it in a number of areas. According to the center, such steps of Washington, which keeps accusing Russia of its alleged indiscriminate shelling in the Idlib de-escalation zone, are raising eyebrows.

The Russian center also reiterated that the Syrian armed forces, upon Russia and Turkey’s initiative, have declared a unilateral ceasefire in the entire Idlib de-escalation zone starting from 06:00 Moscow time on August 31. All parties concerned had been notified.