The U.S. Department of Defense on Tuesday dismissed Russian military statements about Washington’s objectives in Iraq as propaganda.
Earlier in the day, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said the U.S. “imitates” the fight against ISIS in Iraq and has reduced the number of airstrikes in the country.
“The continuing supply of terrorists from Iraq raises serious questions about the objectives of operations against terrorists conducted in the region by aircraft of the United States and the so-called international coalition,” he said.
Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon called the statements “ridiculous.”
“The United States in the past week alone conducted dozens of airstrikes against ISIS terrorists, supported Iraqi forces as they liberated the long-term ISIS stronghold of Hawija, and set in place the final phase for the liberation of ISIS’s capital in Raqqa,” Pahon told The Defense Post.
“A propaganda campaign should not be allowed to tarnish our partner forces’ unrelenting commitment to see these terrorists defeated,” he added.
Pahon said ISIS militants are targeted “wherever they are found.”
“Russian military forces, by contrast, have focused much of their efforts in Syria since 2015 fighting non-ISIS affiliated opposition forces with civilians caught in the crossfire,” he noted.