The Russian Defense Ministry has said that US forces had refused to carry out airstrikes against ISIL terrorists who were retreating from the Syrian town of Abu Kamal.
The operation to liberate the town of Abu-Kamal in the southeast of the country on the Euphrates River near the Iraq border has shown that the US-led coalition has been directly supporting ISIL, according to the Defense Ministry.
The ministry has published photos showing that the armed extremists while they were leaving Abu Kamal for the Syrian-Iraqi border. The Russian forces command has offered the US-led coalition to conduct a joint operation to destroy columns of terrorists on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river. However, the offer has been rejected, according to a statement from the Russian military.
“The US side categorically refused to carry out airstrikes against ISIL terrorists, claiming that the militants were ‘voluntarily surrendering’ and now fell under the provisions of the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War,” the statement read.
Moreover, the international alliance’s aircraft tried to impede the Russian Aerospace Forces planes acting in the region, in order “to ensure a safe exit of ISIL militants from Abu Kamal under the strikes of the government troops.”
According to the Defense ministry, such actions by the coalition prove that the advancing Syrian forces in the Abu-Kamal area have crippled the US plans to create a zone to the east of the Euphrates river that would be controlled by pro-American forces rather than by Damascus. The ministry noted that the plan stipulated that ISIL would play a role of pro-American forces disguised as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). To support the claim, the military representatives said that the SDF flags were found in Abu Kamal.
Recently, The Syrian forces have been advancing toward Abu Kamal, the last major stronghold of ISIL in Syria. The operation was launched after the complete liberation of Deir Ezzor, a city that had been besieged by terrorists for three years.