Russia says U.S. spreading lies over killing of Turkish soldiers

A Russian Foreign Ministry official said the United States was spreading lies to disrupt Russian-Turkish relations, state-run TASS news agency reported on Wednesday.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's said on Tuesday the United States believed Russia killed dozens of Turkish soldiers military operations in war-torn Syria, but gave no specific information. More than 30 Turkish troops were killed in Syria’s Idlib province in an air strike in late February.

"Regretfully, in a bid to drive a wedge between Russia and Turkey, who are cooperating in Syria, U.S. officials even resort to plain lies," the Russian official said.

Pompeo also said the United States continued to support Turkey, its NATO ally.

"By the way, Pompeo’s words of support to Turkey on Idlib lead to an obvious question: does this mean that while counting on help from its NATO ally Turkey in western Syria, where they want the current instability to be preserved, the United States openly betrays them in the east of the country, in Kurdish regions which the Turks see as a threat to their security?" the Russian official asked.

Turkey and Russia, which back opposing sides in the Syrian conflict, earlier this month reached a ceasefire in Idlib province following intense fighting between Turkish-backed rebels and Syrian forces supported by Russia.