BELGRADE – Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that the Western coalition considers the death of 49 civilians as insignificant in Syria operation planning while the Russian military excludes such risks in its plans.

Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin / TASS
Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin / TASS

“Our aviation does not even plan air strikes on such targets in the event of a threat of civilian deaths. However, the Western coalition can just allow itself to consider the death of 49 civilians as insignificant,” Konashenkov said.

According to the Russian general, CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr said that the US military had told her that the American command made decisions on delivering such air strikes on condition that the number of civilian deaths would not exceed 50 people.

General Konashenkov recalled that at the end of last year the ministry said that it had the sufficient amount of information on the results of the work of the countries of the anti-Islamic State coalition in Syria.

The Defense Ministry said that these results did not always correspond to the stated objectives.

“Frankly speaking, we expected our colleagues not only to pay attention to this, but also to draw certain conclusions. Therefore, to disprove further rumours and accusations against us and if our colleagues keep silent on the results of their bombings in Syria, we will ourselves have to inform the public of these facts,” said the Russian official.

According to Konashenkov, in the area of Aleppo where a school was allegedly destroyed by an airstrike more than 10 aircraft of the coalition, as well as attack drones were fulfilling various combat tasks on that day. In addition, since December 20 last year to this day the coalition planes have been making sorties and hitting targets in the area of Aleppo practically every day.

“Thus, the question is: which facilities were targeted in that area by the coalition aircraft? Our colleagues continue to stubbornly keep silent,” the Russian defense official said.

Last week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published a report, which accused Russian warplanes of delivering an air strike at a school in the Al-Adzhar populated locality. The number of casualties, according to the Observatory, varied from 8 to 20 people.

“As usual, the report lacked the victims’ names and addresses and did not give the name of the school or its location,” Konashenkov went on to say.

“The professional analysis of photos distributed in social networks revealed, judging from the nature of destruction, that the school had been hit by an ‘air -to-surface’ missile, which are used in Syria and Iraq exclusively by the warplanes and assault UAV of the anti-ISIS coalition,” General Konashenkov said.