April 21, 2018

Russia general killed in Syria fighting

26 September 2017, 12:32 | Simon Arnold

US-backed forces in Deir ez Zor province

US-backed forces in Deir ez Zor province

Both the USA and Russian Federation have embedded special forces with their respective partners and are supporting their advances with aggressive air strikes.

Also Monday, Russia blamed what it called "the duplicity of USA policy" in Syria for the death of a Russian general killed by Islamic State mortar fire in Deir al-Zour.

His death was "the price paid in blood" for US hypocrisy, Russia's deputy foreign minister said.

US -backed Syrian militias said Russian warplanes struck their positions in Deir al-Zor province on Monday, near a major natural gas field they seized from Islamic State in recent days.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that "two-faced policy" of the United States was to blame for the death of Russian general Valery Asapov in Syria, RIA news agency quoted him as saying on Monday.

Army Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the anti-Islamic State coalition Operation Inherent Resolve, told Military Times that the SDF hasn't reported any casualties to the coalition and has only noted the presence of indirect fire.

Russian drones did not detect any clashes between the two groups when SDF fighters approached Deir al-Zor, he said.

The U.S. -backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) claimed Saturday to have recaptured Syria's largest oil field from the Islamic State.

The Syrian Democratic Forces entry into Deir az-Zour where a Russian-backed, Syrian regime offensive is taking place.

The ministry said Lieutenant-General Valeryi Asapov died at a command station manned by Syrian troops, assisting commanders in the liberation of the city.

Russian Federation blames USA "hypocrisy" on the death of one of its generals during an ISIS attack over the weekend. In Syria, near Deir Ezzor, a strike destroyed an ISIS supply route, the task force said, adding that ISIS targets were also hit and destroyed near Abu Kamal and Raqqa as well. The U.S. -led coalition said it could not confirm who carried out the strike.

Previously, the U.S-led coalition had downed Iranian drones in the area, considering them hostile because they dropped ammunition near a base where US troops operated alongside allied Syrian opposition fighters.

While both oppose the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militants, they are engaged, via proxies, in a race for strategic influence and potential resources in the form of oilfields in Syria's Deir al-Zor province.

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