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Friday, September 16

"US Gives Russia Data About Location of 'Moderate Rebels' in Syria for First Time"

17:08 - September 16, 2016 (updated 17:23)
Breaking News

The US handed Russia data on the location of militant opposition groups operating in Syria for the first time, special representative of the Russian Defense Ministry Alexander Zorin told journalists on Friday.

A preliminary analysis of this data suggested that distinctions hadn't been made between the US-backed, so-called 'moderate rebels' and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (Nusra Front) terrorists yet.

"Russian officers have contacted representatives of Pentagon and the US special services in Geneva. We are examinating the data related to the areas of operation of US-controlled armed groups, which we've received today," Zorin told journalists.

"But a preliminary analysis revealed that these the distinctions between the group and terrorists hadn't been made," he added.

Earlier in the day the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the list of moderate Syrian opposition groups the United States provided to Russia contains formations that are linked to the Nusra Front militant group.

"He [Lavrov] noted that the list of groups who signed an agreement with the United States on adhering to the ceasefire provided by the US side contains a series of blatantly terrorist formations cooperating closely with Nusra Front," the ministry said in a statement. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US State Secretary John Kerry spoke on the phone earlier in the day.



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