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US has wiped Raqqah off the face of earth: Russia

A member of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stands amidst the ruins of buildings near the Clock Square in Raqqah, Syria, October 18, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Russia says the US has wiped the Syrian city of Raqqah "off the face of the earth" with carpet bombing in the same way the United States and Britain bombed Germany's Dresden in 1945.

In a statement released on Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry accused the West of having rushed to provide aid to Raqqah to cover up its own crimes.

"Raqqah has inherited the fate of Dresden in 1945, wiped off the face of the earth by Anglo-American bombardments," said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenko.

Recently, Daesh terrorists left Raqqah, their former “capital” in Syria, as part of a deal with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US-led coalition. Thus, the US-backed Kurdish-dominated SDF announced full control over the city.

Members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) walk past the ruins of destroyed buildings near the National Hospital in Raqqah, Syria, October 17, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Konashenkov complained that the West had turned down Russia's requests for humanitarian aid to Syrian civilians.

"What is behind the rush by Western capitals to provide targeted financial help only to Raqqah?" he asked. "There's only one explanation - the desire to cover up evidence of the barbaric bombardments by the US air force and the coalition as fast as possible and to bury the thousands of civilians 'liberated' from Daesh in the ruins."

The Russian official also accused the US of overplaying the significance of the fall of Raqqah.

"The bravura statements by official representatives of the US administration about the 'outstanding victory' over Daesh in Raqqah prompt bafflement," he said.

Konashenkov estimated that some 200,000 people had lived in Raqqah before the crisis erupted in Syria in 2011, but now not more than 45,000 people remained there.

The US and its allies have been bombarding what they call Daesh positions inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate. 

The airstrikes, however, have on many occasions resulted in civilian casualties and failed to fulfill their declared aim of countering terrorism.

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