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Russia’s Gen. Konashenkov Asks: Why Is U.S. Coalition Protecting Islamic Terrorists in Syria?

Oct. 11, 2017 (EIRNS)—In remarks today, Gen. Igor Konashenkov, spokesman of Russia’s Defense Ministry, questioned the objectives of the U.S.-led anti-terrorist coalition in Syria, given increasing activity of Islamic State militants in U.S.-controlled areas, who seem to operate with impunity.

He mentioned the case of 300 IS militants operating in the U.S.-controlled zone of Al-Tanf, who seized two humanitarian convoys with food and medicine, and then attempted to use their pickup trucks to block the Damascus-Deir ez Zor road used to supply Syrian troops and deliver humanitarian aid to civilians. How, Gen. Konashenkov asked, did these 300 IS militants penetrate the U.S.-controlled zone in al-Tanf?

"We offer the American side [the chance] to clarify another instance of turning a blind eye to the activities of militants operating under their very noses,"

he said.

"It is purely for reasons of military ethics that we don’t publish the latest photos of the U.S. base in al-Tanf with an abundance of pickup trucks with heavy machine guns and recoilless guns that are not typical of the U.S. Army,"

he added. Konashenkov also reported on a group of 600 militants who entered the southern de-escalation zone, and seized food and medical supplies meant for the local population. It doesn’t take a genius, he said, to see that there is an attempt to sabotage the peace process in this de-escalation zone, and warned that the U.S. side would be held responsible for any such sabotage.

Note, in this regard, the Oct. 9 article by Gilbert Doctorow, a member of the American Committee for East-West Accord, in Consortium News, under the headline "A Deaf Ear to Dire Russian Warnings." He recaps points made by commentator Dmitry Kiselyov on his weekly news program on Rossiya-1 state TV Oct. 8, in which Kiselyov identifies the U.S. as the "main obstacle" to routing the terrorists completely in Syria. Doctorow points out that Kiselyov’s remarks also reflect the official position of the Russian Defense Ministry, as Konashev’s statements indicate.

Kiselyov asserts that the U.S. is secretly aiding the Islamist terror groups that make up the core of the remaining resistance to the Assad regime, supplying them with crucial weaponry, intelligence, and maps of where both Syrian and Russian forces operate. Kiselyov said he didn’t think President Trump was a party to these tactics, which he attributed to "sloppy management" stemming from a lack of political control over the military.