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Tuesday 26th
posted by James Tweedie in World

Moscow denies attacks on US-backed fighters

US-BACKED forces in Syria accused Russia of bombing them yesterday.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said its fighters were attacked by Russian jets and Syrian artillery across the Euphrates river from the eastern city of Deir Ezzor.

The SDF, mostly made up of Kurdish militia, said several of its men were killed or injured in the Conoco gas field, recently seized from Isis.

In a statement, the SDF threatened to defend itself against such attacks and said that “it is worth noting that we are advancing in co-ordination with the global coalition forces.”

Russia denied the claims, saying that it had been attacking Isis positions from which the death cult had attacked the Syrian army.

There was no immediate comment from the US-led coalition, though it has previously accused Russia of bombing SDF positions and putting US troops at risk.

US special forces are embedded with the SDF in the east Deir Ezzor area. Russian forces are also present with the Syrian army.

On Sunday, Russian Lieutenant-General Valery Asapov was killed by shelling during a visit to Deir Ezzor city. The attack was blamed on Isis, still clinging to parts of the city since the Syrian army lifted the four-year siege this month.

But yesterday Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it was “the price paid with blood for the hypocrisy of US policy in Syria.”

Russia claims SDF and US forces are moving unmolested through Isis territory, which the US coalition has denied.

On Saturday a French soldier was killed in combat at an unspecified location in “the Middle East,” the coalition said.