By Chris Irvine
Published October 18, 2018
U.S. officials have rejected claims from Vladimir Putin that ISIS has taken nearly 700 people hostage, including several European and U.S. Nationals in Syria.
A senior U.S. official told Fox News the story was "fake news"
Speaking in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Putin had claimed that ISIS was expanding its control in territory controlled by U.S. and U.S.-backed forces.
Putin claimed: “Islamic State terrorists have delivered ultimatums and made certain demands, threatening to shoot ten people every day.
“This is just horrible, it is a catastrophe.
“Some US and European citizens are among the hostages.”
He did not specify what the terrorists' demands were.
Pentagon spokesperson Cmdr. Sean Robertson told Fox News: "While we have confirmed that there was an attack on an IDP camp near Deir Ezzour last week, we have no information supporting the large number of hostages alleged by President Putin and we are skeptical of its accuracy. We are also unaware of any U.S. nationals located in that camp.
"We reject Russian assertions that the U.S. and Coalition have failed to address the threat posed by ISIS. On the contrary, the Coalition has liberated more than 99 percent of the territory previously held by ISIS.
"We will continue to work by, with and, through our local partners to pursue the remnants of ISIS in the Middle Euphrates River Valley. Despite our successes, there is still much work to do with our partners to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS.
"Russia, on the other hand, has focused its efforts exclusively on aiding the Syrian regime with limited steps to address the threat posed by ISIS and without regard for the laws of armed conflict, civilian casualties, or regime use of chemical weapons."
The Director of National Intelligence issued a stark warning to media outlets on Thursday afternoon to beware of efforts by foreign governments to place news stories in western media that serve as propaganda that may not be true.
“Responsibility doesn’t stop with the federal government, we also need the private sector and media outlets to step up and take greater responsibility because this -- a national interest it is a national interest that demands a response from both the federal government and from the private sector,” said Dan Coats speaking at a tech conference in the nation’s capital.