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Russia blames US policy for Valery Asapov's death

Officer's killing by ISIL blamed on 'two-faced policy' while report on Russian air strike on US-backed force is denied.

Russia's deputy foreign minister

A senior Russian official has denounced what he called the "two-faced policy" of the US, saying it was to blame for the death of a Russian general, Valery Asapov, in Syria, according to an RIA news agency report.

The Russian defence ministry has said Asapov was killed in shelling by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group near Deir Az Zor.

"The death of the Russian commander is the price, the bloody price for the two-faced American policy in Syria," Sergei Ryabkov, Russia's deputy foreign minister, said on Monday, according to RIA.

Separately, Russia denied carrying out an air strike that a US-backed Syrian force said killed one of its fighters and injured several others.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said a Russian air strike on Monday killed one of its fighters and injured two others in a gas field in eastern Syria that they had recently captured from ISIL, also known as ISIS.

Major-General Igor Konashenkov, a Russian defence ministry spokesman, said in a statement that Russia is continuing to target ISIL in the area, and that its surveillance does not show SDF forces fighting ISIL.

Konashenkov said neither the SDF nor the US-led coalition has approached it about the reported attack.

On September 16, the SDF said a Russian air strike wounded six of its fighters, but Russia denied carrying out the attack.


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