MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Pockets of resistance of the Daesh* terrorist group in Syria are located only in areas controlled by the United States, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday.
The statement comes as US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday that the Syrian President Bashar Assad had visited a “disaster” “upon his people in Syria” with the help of Russia and Iran, noting that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was the “the only organization at the time that was able to throw” Daesh* in Syria.
“As for the current situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, we recommend the Pentagon chief to examine the map showing the situation in this country. All remaining pockets of resistance of Daesh terrorists in Syria are located only in areas controlled by the United States,” Konashenkov said.
The spokesman noted that the Russian Defense Ministry was bewildered by “verbal manipulations” of Mattis regarding the situation in Syria, stressing that the expansion of the Daesh terror group to Syria had become possible due to “criminal omission” of the United States and the international coalition.
“All this time Washington focused on financing and direct arms supplies to fictional ‘Syrian opposition’ totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. However, the vast majority of US-supplied arms and ammunition fell into the hands of the Syrian al-Qaeda branch – Nusra Front [terrorist group, banned in Russia] and Daesh, who sought, like Washington, to overthrow the legitimate Syrian government,” Konashenkov said.
Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting against numerous opposition groups and terrorist organizations.
Russia, along with Turkey and Iran, is one of the guarantor states of the Syrian ceasefire regime.
The US-led coalition of more than 70 members is conducting military operations against the Daesh terror group in Syria and Iraq. The coalition’s strikes in Syria are not authorized by the government of President Bashar Assad or the United Nations Security Council.
*Daesh (aka ISIS, IS, ISIL) is a terrorist group banned in Russia