On Wednesday, Russian combat jets launched pinpointed strikes against IS targets in Syria. Almost immediately, Western media outlets carried reports of civilian casualties.
Syria's UN ambassador on Wednesday said Russia had every right to carry out airstrikes against the Islamic State militants in his country.
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"No sooner had [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov uttered his first words at the Security Council, than numerous reports emerged in Western, regional, including Ukrainian media, that the military operation carried out by Russia had killed civilians, almost as if this operation was aimed at democratic forces and the civilian population," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told LifeNews television.
In part, Zakharova is referring to comments from the Pentagon. The US Defense Department has accused Moscow of bombing targets where "there were probably no Islamic State militants." But much of this finger-pointing stems from Washington's own interest in ousting the legitimate administration of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
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"Fighting ISIL without pursuing a parallel political transition only risks escalating the civil war in Syria, and with it the very extremism and instability that Moscow claims to be concerned about and aspire to fighting," US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told reporters on Wednesday.
Moscow was quick to respond.
"It's all been said by the Russian Defense Ministry," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, "do not listen to Pentagon allegations about our airstrikes."
The Russian Ministry of Defence later released video of the strikes.