MOSCOW — Russia’s defense minister has lashed back at the Pentagon chief for saying that Moscow has made virtually no contribution to fighting the Islamic State group (I.S.).
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Russian forces “haven’t done anything” in the fight against I.S., adding that Moscow’s contribution has been “virtually zero.” Carter said Moscow instead has “doubled down on the Syrian civil war.”
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu struck back on Tuesday, saying that his U.S. counterpart “has mistaken the country” while making the comment. Shoigu argued that it has been the U.S.-led coalition that has “achieved not just a zero result, but a negative one.”
The Russian military said that its warplanes have flown 19,160 sorties since the start of the Syria campaign.