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On November 14, the Russian Defense Ministry released a new statement and photo-report accusing the US-led coalition of cooperating with ISIS.
According to the statement, the operation against ISIS in the Syrian border city of al-Bukamal allowed to get facts of a direct cooperation between the US-led coalition and ISIS. The ministry leleased November 9 photos showing large columns of ISIS moving from al-Bukamal along the border with Iraq, on the eastern bank of Euphrates.
Russian forces requested two times the US-led coalition to coordinate efforts against these ISIS columns in order to destroy them. However, US forces rejected the requests. Furthermore, the US coalition also refused to carry out airstrikes on the terroirsts saying that they are going to surrender to them. The US was not able to clarify why then ISIS uses the US area of responsibility to re-group and carry out attacks against Syrian forces.
Furthermore, warplanes of the coalition were hindering efforts of the Russian Aerosapce Forces aimed at bombing these columns.
The Russian ministry added that this showed that the Syrian advance on al-Bukamal undermined the US plan to seize this area and to occupy it. According to this plan, local ISIS members were set to join the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and to wave SDF flags.
The ministry concluded saying that the US defends ISIS in order to keep it as a tool to promote own interests in the region.