The Russian military on Sunday questioned the official US account of the military raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, saying it was not aware of any US military operations in the region.

Iran Press/ Europe: In a statement, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said that the Russian military does not have reliable information on a US Special Operations raid in Syria’s Idlib province, adding: "The increasing number of direct participants and countries that allegedly took part in this operation, each one giving completely contradictory details, raises legitimate questions and doubts about its existence and especially the level of its success."

Following the raid, US president Donald Trump in a statement, thanked Russia for its assistance, as well as Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and the Syrian Kurds.

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Russia maintains a major base in Syria in Latakia. Konashenkov said, however, that the Russian military had observed no strikes by US aircraft in the region.

"Firstly, on Saturday and in recent days, no airstrikes were made on the Idlib de-escalation zone by US aircraft or the so-called international coalition were recorded," Konashenkov said. "Secondly, we are not aware of any alleged assistance to the passage of American aviation into the airspace of the Idlib de-escalation zone during this operation," he added.

Konashenkov argued in his statement that the Syrian government backed by Russian air power had defeated ISIS, saying that al-Baghdadi’s death has absolutely no operational significance on the situation in Syria or on the actions of the remaining terrorists in Idlib.

Russia, which backs the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has long argued that the US military has no legal basis for its operations in Syria.


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