A U.S. military convoy drives on a highway from Kobane to Ain Issa in Syria on September 29, 2017. (AFP PHOTO)
MOSCOW, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- The U.S.-led coalition has reduced airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in Iraq, allowing it to send reinforcements to Syria and complicate the advance of Syrian troops, the Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday.
The international coalition has sharply cut the number of airstrikes against IS in Iraq since September to just several times a day, the ministry's spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.
The decrease in intensity of strikes coincided "in a strange way" with the arrival of IS militants from Iraqi border areas to the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, where Syrian government troops have significantly expanded the territory liberated from terrorists over the past week, he said.
The continued fueling of terrorists from Iraq raised serious questions about the objectives of U.S.-led anti-terrorist operations in the region, he said.
In a separate statement, Konashenkov said Russian warplanes delivered 182 strikes over the past 24 hours in the Syrian province of Deir al-Zour against IS militants coming from Iraq, killing dozens of them.