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Moscow Denies Death of Dozens of Soldiers in Syria

Moscow Denies Death of Dozens of Soldiers in Syria

Thursday, 12 July, 2018 - 13:30
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu delivers a speech during the annual Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) in Moscow, Russia April 4, 2018. REUTERS
Moscow – Raed Jabr
Russia’s Defense Ministry denied news that dozens of Russian military personnel have been killed in Daraa by a suicide attack on a Russian convoy.

A statement issued by the ministry said Wednesday that its forces operating in Syria have not been subjected to any attack in the recent period, “neither in the southern region nor in any other region.”

It stressed that the news circulated by the media about deaths in the ranks of the Russian military in Daraa province was “baseless.”

“ISIS terrorists intentionally spread false reports about the death of Russian servicemen in Syria,” the Ministry of Defense said.

“All Russian servicemen are alive, healthy, and fulfilling their duties according to plan,” said the Defense Ministry, calling the media report about the death of the Russians “another fake” news story.

Moscow earlier denied reports of casualties among the Russian military personnel, and it later confirmed that they had been attacked and suffered casualties.

Earlier this year, Moscow denied reports that the Hameimim base had been attacked with marlin aircraft, but it admitted weeks later that the attack killed at least two people and destroyed a number of Russian planes on the runway.

On the other hand, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia would reconsider supplying the Syrian regime with S-300 missile defense systems if it receives an official request in this regard.

"The decision to provide this type of weapon to any foreign army is made at an official request, which is not yet answered and therefore, it is too early to talk about it now," Shoygu said in an interview with the Italian newspaper El Giornale.

According to the minister, Russia refused several years ago to supply Syria with S-300 missiles defense system at the request of Israel and a number of Western countries.

He added that “in light of the recent US-British-French aggression against Syria, Moscow is ready to review its position”.

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