The Kremlin on Wednesday denied media allegations that the Russian military was taking part in aistrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria.
Source: RT Wednesday, September 2, 2015 | 15:14
(Beta/AP, file, illustration purposes)
Earlier in the day, RT quoted a military source to report that "no Russian jets were deployed to Syria in order to launch attacks against Islamic State and Syrian rebels."
This reaction came after Israeli media reported that Russia had "begun its military intervention in Syria."
The author of the report published by Ynet, Alex Fishman, was contacted by RT but refused to comment on the legitimacy of his source.
"I am not talking about my sources, sorry. I’m not publishing something without a legitimate source. I’ve been working for the last 40 years in the military field. So you can understand that it’s a very,very legitimate source," he said.
The unnamed Russian military source, however, told RT on Tuesday:
"There has been no redeployment of Russian combat aircraft to the Syrian Arab Republic. The Russian Air Force is at its permanent bases and carrying out normal troop training and combat duty."
RT is reporting that "Moscow has denied plans to station troops in Syria," while "on August 4, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the involvement of Russian military in the Syrian conflict is not on the agenda.”
"Nevertheless, Russia has strongly supported the formation of an anti-IS coalition that would include Syria and other international and regional powers," the Russian broadcaster said, adding tat "President Vladimir Putin and his Egyptian counterpart stressed the importance of such a front during their meeting in Moscow on August 26."
Previously, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with a top Syrian opposition leader in Moscow.
Russia believes that the coalition against IS would bring together the Syrian and Iraqi armies, the Kurds and those parts of the armed opposition that represent the Syrian people, RT said, noting that "the US-led coalition which has been conducting airstrikes on IS targets in Syria since last September has proved incapable of beating the militants."
U.S. defense officials are also quoted as saying that "the current number of IS fighters is estimated to have remained unchanged since last August."