September 28, 2017 / 10:08 AM / a year ago

Russia denies Syrian opposition allegation over civilian deaths

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian Defence Ministry on Thursday denied allegations that Russian and Syrian jets had killed at least 150 civilians in over a week of bombing, saying it had been careful not to hit civilians.

The ministry was responding to comments made on Wednesday by opposition rescue workers who accused Moscow and Damascus of killing at least 150 civilians and of injuring dozens in air strikes in Idlib Province.

Major-General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement that the opposition-run Civil Defence group which made the allegations was made up of “charlatans” who could not be regarded as objective sources of reliable information.

“Russian air force planes do not strike residential districts in populated areas in order to avoid casualties,” Konashenkov said.

“Targets are terrorist bases, armoured vehicles and ammunition stories which are always identified by drones and always confirmed by other channels beforehand.”

He said Russian planes operating in Idlib Province had only targeted militant fighters and their equipment in the last week.

Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Christian Lowe

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