The Russian Defense Ministry accused the U.S. of fighting ISIS “in word only, instead of taking real action” after the Pentagon refused to give Russia information on its ISIS targets in Syria unless Russia changes its policy towards Bashar al-Assad.
A spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the United States of protecting the Islamic State on Monday, after the Pentagon refused to share information about ISIS targets in Syria.
Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza told Sputnik News on Friday that the U.S. would not “cooperate with Russia on Syria until they change their strategy of supporting Assad and instead focus” on ISIS.
In response, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told TASS that the Pentagon’s statement confirms that the U.S. is fighting ISIS “in word only, instead of taking real action.”
[pull_quote_center]The hackneyed thesis has once again confirmed that the Pentagon will fight against IS in word only, instead of taking real action. The statement by the US Defense Department spokesperson Michelle Baldanza about the refusal from any cooperation in the fight against Islamic State is a broken record, and it’s high time to change it.[/pull_quote_center]
Konashenkov also said that last week General Sergey Rudskoy, the chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the Russian General Staff, presented data on changes in the routes of illegal oil transportation by ISIS militants. He claimed that the new routes are in the northwestern regions of Iraq, which “are in the focus of constant attention of the United States.”
Rudskoy said on Friday that based on aerial imagery in the vicinity of Zakho, a city in Iraqi Kurdistan, Russian intelligence has spotted at least “11,775 tankers and trucks on both sides of the Turkish-Iraqi border.”
During the G20 Leaders Summit in Antalya, Turkey, in November, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that ISIS is being financed by 40 different countries. “We have established that financing is coming from 40 countries, including G20 countries,” he said.
While Putin did not list the specific countries he believes are financing ISIS, the “Group of Twenty” includes countries such as the United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
In March, investigative journalist Ben Swann reported on the origin of ISIS, and he noted that the group grew drastically after it seized Humvees, tanks and weaponry left behind by the U.S. and that even when the U.S. government “became aware that ISIS fighters were capturing U.S. equipment, it did nothing.”