Kremlin Urges Media not to Rely on Misinformation on Developments in Syria

MOSCOW- Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has called on the media not to be guided by "distorted data" in connection with reports on many Russians allegedly killed in Syria.

"We urge [everyone] not to be guided by erroneous information, intentional or unintentional, and be careful about the description of such potentially important incidents in order not to be enthralled by distorted data," the Kremlin spokesman said in comments on reports on a great number of Russians allegedly killed in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province on February 7, according to Itar Tass.

 Due to the lack of specific data on the issue, Peskov said he did not understand a question from a reporter who asked whether or not it was possible to declare mourning over a great number of Russians allegedly killed in Syria on February 7. He noted that the Kremlin had no specific information, which would make it possible to draw conclusions as to the number of Russians in Syria. "One cannot rule out that Russian citizens can be on Syria’s soil. They are not Russian military servicemen, that’s all we can say, but, anyway, our citizens remain Russian citizens, whatever happens," he concluded.

A source in the Russian Foreign Ministry earlier told TASS that reports on dozens and hundreds of Russian citizens allegedly killed in Syria were misinformation.

Last week, CBS television reported that the Syrian popular forces, which allegedly attacked the headquarters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province on February 7, included Russian citizens. The US-led coalition delivered an airstrike against these pro-government forces.

The Russian Defense Ministry earlier said that Syrian popular forces came under fire from the coalition on February 7 due to actions that had not been coordinated with the Russian military. There are no Russian military servicemen in the area, the ministry stressed.

H.M

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