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US-led coalition pounding Syria infrastructure, not Daesh-held oil fields: Russia

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov speaks at a briefing at the ministry's headquarters in Moscow, Russia, October 20, 2016. (Photo by AP)

Russia has accused the US-led coalition of “systematically” bombing Syria’s economic infrastructure rather than oil production facilities seized by Takfiri Daesh terrorists.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov made the remarks on Wednesday, hours after CIA Director John Brennan claimed that Moscow was purusing a "scorched earth policy" in Syria.

“Brennan is well aware of the fact that long before the start of the Russian campaign, the… coalition had been systematically destroying Syria's economic infrastructure to weaken the legitimate government…, heedless of burdens for civilians resulting in millions of refugees," Konashenkov said.

He further accused the US-led coalition of not targeting the Daesh-held oil fields in their bombing campaign in the Arab country.

"Surprisingly, the coalition has not attacked oil facilities captured by Daesh, which allowed the terrorists to make tens of millions of dollars per month through illicit oil trade and recruit mercenaries from all over the world," Konashenkov said.

The Russian official also stressed that Washington would be held accountable for its conduct in Syria “sooner or later.”

Moscow launched its campaign against Daesh and other terror outfits in Syria at the Damascus government’s request in September 2015. Its airstrikes have helped Syrian forces advance counterterrorism operations against foreign-backed militants wreaking havoc in the Middle Eastern state since 2011.

A French Rafale fighter jet takes off from the deck of the Charles-de-Gaulle aircraft carrier operating in the eastern Mediterranean Sea on December 9, 2016, as part of a US-led coalition bombing campaign purportedly fighting Daesh terrorists. (Photo by AFP)

This is while the US-led coalition has also been conducting air raids against what are said to be Daesh terrorists inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate. Analysts have assessed the strikes as unsuccessful as they have led to civilian deaths and failed to counter terrorism.

Elsewhere in his comments, Konashenkov emphasized that a nationwide halt to fighting in Syria, which came into effect on December 30, was made possible through the contribution of Iran and Turkey, not the outgoing US administration or the CIA.

The truce, which does not apply to Daesh and Fateh al-Sham terrorist groups, came eight days after the Syrian army announced full control over the flashpoint city of Aleppo and called the victory a “crushing blow” to terrorists.

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