Jul. 22 2016 — 15:02
— Update: 15:06
Russian Defense Ministry
Russian jets last month attacked a base in Syria used by U.S. and British forces, the Interfax news agency reported Friday, citing an unidentified military-diplomatic source in Moscow.
The Wall Street Journal also reported on Friday that Russia’s air force had attacked the garrison of At-Tanf near the Jordanian border, which has been used by U.S. and British special forces as well as the Syrian opposition. A contingency of around 20 British troops had left less than 24 hours before the attack, the newspaper claimed.
The U.S. subsequently informed the Russian air force command in Syria that the base was used by the U.S. in the fight against the Islamic State and shouldn’t be attacked.
Russian jets however, reportedly attacked the base a second time 90 minutes later, despite warning signals sent from U.S. aircraft.
U.S. officials and rebel leaders claim cluster munitions were used in the attacks and that four people were killed.
According to Interfax’s source in Moscow, the strike took place because the U.S. refused to provide Russia with information on their activities regarding the areas where moderate Syrian opposition were active and observing a cease-fire.
Russia had warned the U.S.-led coalition of imminent Russian air strikes in the area of At-Tanf, the source claimed.
“The Russian side has already given a full explanation on this matter,” the source said.
“There was a video conference between the U.S. and Russian military devoted to this and there is no need to repeat what was said there.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier declined to comment on the report of a Russian attack on a base in Syria used by the U.S., saying that the Defense Ministry handled enquiries on the matter.
The Islamic State is a terrorist organization banned in Russia.