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US impose more sanctions on Russia over Syria

The United States has imposed more sanctions against Russia for supporting the Syrian government, while Moscow has denounced the move, saying Washington is playing “geo-political games”.

The US Treasury Department on Wednesday announced that four Russian individuals and six entities, including a bank, have been added to Washington’s sanctions list.

US officials said they were involved in supporting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Moscow has slammed the latest round of sanctions, accusing Washington of playing  “geo-political games” on Syria.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Wednesday Moscow cannot understand the reason for the fresh punitive measure.

“It is clear that this is a new, complicated moment in relations,” RIA Novosti quoted Ryabkov as saying.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov

The sanctions came after NATO member Turkey shot down a Russian warplane, claiming the warplane had repeatedly violated its air space.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the jet had been attacked when it was 1 kilometer inside Syria.

He warned of “serious consequences” and called it a “stab in the back” administered by “the accomplices of terrorists.”

“We will never tolerate such crimes like the one committed today,” Putin said.

A Russian jet crashing on the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border after being shot down by Turkey on November 24, 2015 (AFP)

Russia has been conducting airstrikes on Daesh positions at the request of the Syrian government since September 30.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. The United States and its regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – have been supporting the militants operating inside Syria since the beginning of the crisis.

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