Two week after Russia released a set of satellite photos from Syria, which allegedly showed US special ops located in immediate proximity to ISIS positions, the Russian defence ministry doubled down on Wednesday and again accused the United States of supporting Islamic State jihadists, enabling them to mount counter-offensive attacks in eastern Syria.
"The main thing preventing the final defeat of ISIS in Syria is not the terrorists' military capability but support and pandering to them by American colleagues," Russian military spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.
Quoted by AFP, he said recent attacks on Syrian regime forces were all made "from a 50-kilometre zone around At-Tanf on the Syrian-Jordan border" where the US-led coalition is operating a garrison.
As we first noted at the end of September, in recent weeks Moscow has repeatedly accused the US of hindering the offensive in the east of the country against IS jihadists mounted by Syrian regime forces with the support of Russian airstrikes and special forces on the ground.
The Russian military also said the regime forces "neutralised mobile IS groups on the road from Palmyra to Deir-Ezzor" and freed the captured villages. "If the US side views such operations as unforeseen 'accidents', Russian aviation in Syria is ready to begin complete eradication of all such 'accidents' in the zone they control," Konashenkov said.
Russia has been flying a bombing campaign in Syria since 2015, when it stepped in to support the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and tipped the conflict in his favour.
Two weeks ago, the Russian Defense Minister released a trove of photos which were meant to demonstrate the cooperation between the US and the Islamic State in Syria.
We repost several below: