Syria : Top Russian general killed in IS attack

Both the US and Russian Federation have embedded special forces with their respective partners and are supporting their advances with aggressive air strikes.

Asapov, RT reported, was described as one of the senior Russian military advisers in Syria.

Lieutenant-General Valery Asapov was killed in Syria, when Islamic State militants (the terrorist organisation is banned in Russia) attacked Russian and Syrian troops.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said "the death of the Russian commander is the price paid with blood for the hypocrisy of American policy in Syria", according to Kremlin news agency RIA.

The lack of any evidence of clashes raises questions about possible collusion between the US-backed and Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the terrorists, he said.

The United States has made similar accusations against Moscow, asserting that Russian forces say they are targeting IS fighters, but are in fact targeting USA -backed forces.

"They had a face-to-face discussion, laid down maps and graphics", Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, a Baghdad-based spokesman for the USA -led coalition, told a Pentagon briefing.

"Military contacts are quite intensive, [going] at different levels", Ryabkov said, commenting on information on the exchange of information between the USA and the Russian military on the situation in Syria and, in particular, on Deir ez-Zor.

The assaults converged on Islamic State from opposite sides of the Euphrates river that bisects Deir al-Zor, Islamic State's last major foothold in Syria.

The Russian command says "the photos show how the U.S. command creates support points in areas where the ISIS is located, without observing signs of any combat or bombardment of that zone by the western coalition". The Conoco gas plant can produce almost 50 million cubic feet of gas per day.

The Syrian Democratic Forces entry into Deir az-Zour where a Russian-backed, Syrian regime offensive is taking place.

Russian soldiers stand guard in a central street in Syria's eastern city of Deir Ez-Zor.

Citing Iranian state TV, the AP said that the strike destroyed ISIS bases and vehicles on the southern and eastern edges of Deir Ezzor, near the border with Iraq.

"A representative of the USA military command in Al Udeid (the United States operations centre in Qatar) was told in no uncertain terms that any attempts to open fire from areas where SDF fighters are located would be quickly shut down", Major-General Igor Konashenkov said.

  • Joey Payne