‘US-led coalition damaging critical infrastructure in Syria’ says Russian MOD

Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian military's General Staff speaks at a briefing at the Russian Defense Ministry's headquarters in Moscow, Russia, 25 October 2016. (Photo: Ivan Sekretarev/AP)

The Russian Ministry of Defence stated on Tuesday that the US-led coalition appears to be deliberately aiming at Syrian infrastructure in the fight against the Islamic State (IS).

“It seems like the international coalition has a goal to damage the critical infrastructure in Syria, aggravating the post-war reconstruction of the country as much as possible,” the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoi told journalists on Tuesday.

The Russian General Staff was particularly concerned by the airstrikes in the vicinity of the Tabqah Dam. Rudskoi claimed that parts preventing water overflow were damaged in the 26 March airstrikes carried out by the coalition.

“These actions could lead to a large-scale environmental catastrophe, the flooding of vast areas and numerous victims among civilians,” Rudskoi said.

The general also expressed concerns regarding four bridges, destroyed by coalition airstrikes, which had cut off the communication between the north and south of Raqqa.

“As a result of these actions, the communication between the northern and southern parts of the city, where still more than 200 thousand inhabitants are living, has been completely interrupted,” he said.

The majority Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured the Tabqah Airport on Sunday as clashes continue to take the dam from the jihadist group.

The spokeswoman of the SDF, Cihan Sheikh Ahmed, confirmed on Monday that no damage had occurred at the dam after engineers were allowed in to investigate claims.