Russia: “We Didn’t Intentionally Target U.S. Allies – U.S. Military Failed To Provide Locations”Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, third left, visits the Hemeimeem air base in Syria, Saturday, June 18, 2016. Russia's defense minister visited Syria on Saturday to meet the country's leader and inspect the Russian air base there, a high-profile trip intended to underline Moscow's role in the region. (Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service pool photo via AP)
On Sunday, the Russian Military denied the Pentagon’s accusations that they had intentionally targeted U.S. backed Syrian opposition forces, saying that they did not provide their locations.
Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Defense Spokesman said that the United States earlier designated Syrian opposition forces 300 kilometers away from where the June 16th air strike took place.
The Pentagon said Russian warplanes hit Syrian opposition forces fighting ISIS in Al-Tanf. The Pentagon held a video conference on Saturday with Russian military to discuss the strikes.
“Russia’s continued strikes at Al-Tanf, even after U.S. attempts to inform Russian forces through proper channels of ongoing coalition air support to the counter-ISIL forces, created safety concerns for U.S. and coalition forces,” The Pentagon said in a statement.
Konashenkov said that the Russian military warned the U.S. about the airstrike but they did not provide them with coordinates of Syrian opposition forces. He also claimed that the Pentagon has not worked with the Russian military by not sharing information on locations of forces fighting in Syria. Konashenkov claimed the Russian military proposed the plan months ago.
Konashenkov did say that the conference, which took place to bolster communication channels to prevent accidents in the air over Syria, was “constructive” and demonstrated a desire to “improve coordination in fighting terrorist organizations in Syria and avoid incidents while conducting military operations there.”