A high-ranking Russian military official has declared that war planes of the US-led military coalition have violated the Syrian airspace nearly three dozen times in the past 24 hours.
Rear Admiral Vadim Kulit, deputy head of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of Warring Parties in Syria, said on Saturday that unmanned aerial vehicles had infringed upon the disengagement protocols 14 times.
He argued that the Western military alliance, which claims to combat terrorism, continues to generate dangerous conditions in the skies of Syria as it conducts intrusive flights that contradict the protocols and have not been coordinated with the Russian side.
Kulit noted that 18 violations were also recorded in the area of the US al-Tanf military base, involving four pairs of F-35 fighter jets, two pairs of Typhoon fighter aircraft, two pairs of Rafale fighter jets, and two MQ-1C multi-purpose drones of the coalition.
The US military has stationed forces and equipment in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists.
Damascus, however, maintains that the unauthorized US deployment is aimed at plundering the country’s rich mineral resources.
Russia, alongside Iran, has been helping Syrian forces in battles across the conflict-plagued country, mainly providing aerial support to ground operations against foreign-backed terrorists.
Back on July 18, Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian president’s special representative for the Middle East and Africa, sternly criticized the persisting illegal presence of US military forces in Syria, demanding that the Pentagon end its illegitimate occupation of the Arab nation’s energy- and mineral-rich regions.
“Washington uses the pretext of combating terrorism to be present east of the Euphrates in economically important areas, where crude oil and strategic natural reserves are abundant,” he said at the time.