Russia has claimed that Islamic State group in Syria is using mosques as their hideouts and locals as human shields. The Russian Defense Ministry said that ISIS militants are doing so because they know that Russia will never attack civilians.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Tuesday that ISIS militants were trying to hide their vehicles around the mosques. “Knowing our careful, respectful attitude to mosques they understand that we would never -- under any circumstances -- carry out airstrikes against civilian facilities,” RT quoted the minister as saying.
Antonov said that Russia depended not only upon the Syrian Army for information but also upon air surveillance and space data. He said that Russia carried out airstrikes only if it was “100 percent sure” of hitting the right target.
ISIS militants earlier killed 22 people in suicide attacks Tuesday on multiple targets including a Houthi-run mosque in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. Reuters reported that it was also known to be the first ISIS attack on the Saudi-led coalition and the Yemeni government.
A statement from ISIS confirmed the attacks targeted at officials. "In a blessed operation facilitated by God, four martyrdom operations targeted a gathering of Saudi, Emirati and Yemeni officers," the statement said.
According to Antonov, the mutual cooperation between Russia and the United States on Syria has a huge potential. However, he said that Russia would not impose itself as a partner to solve the problem which equally affected both the nations.
The Russian Defense Ministry Igor Konashenkov later said ISIS terrorists might bomb mosques and blame the Russian Air Force for war crimes. "'Moderate rebels' would not hide behind civilians as human shields or, moreover, concentrate armored vehicles under the arches of religious institutions," Konashenkov said. "All of these actions can only be the calling card of terrorists."