February 21, 2018 / 2:16 PM / a year ago

Kremlin rejects allegations Russia behind civilian deaths in Syria's Ghouta

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Wednesday that Western allegations the Russian Air Force was responsible for civilian deaths in the rebel-held district of eastern Ghouta outside the Syrian capital Damascus were groundless.

Pro-government forces pounded eastern Ghouta on Tuesday, in a surge of violence that a war monitor said had killed at least 250 people since Sunday night.

Russia has been providing air support for the Syrian army since Moscow intervened to help President Bashar al-Assad side in 2015.

“These are groundless accusations, we don’t know what they are based on, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, when asked about Western assertions that Russia was to blame for some of the deaths in eastern Ghouta.

“They (the allegations) are not backed up with any specific information. We do not agree with them,” Peskov told a conference call with reporters.

Reporting by Polina Ivanova; Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Polina Ivanova

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