President Barack Obama has said that Russia’s Syrian strategy is a recipe for disaster as President Vladimir Putin failed to differentiate between Islamic State militants and moderate groups who oppose the regime of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad.
Targets included a command post and underground weapons bunker near Raqqa, the eastern Syrian stronghold of the Islamic State militants, as well as a weapons store in Maarat al-Numaan, Russian defence ministry statement said.
In a joint statement Friday, the governments of nations fighting ISIS – including the United States, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia – said Russia’s military strikes “constitute a further escalation and will only fuel more extremism and radicalization”.
Russia says its air campaign is aimed only at helping Assad’s forces fight terrorists and that Russian planes have already hit more than 50 Islamic State positions.
It bombed the country for a third straight day on Friday, but it has mainly hit areas held by rival insurgent groups rather than the Islamic State fighters it said it was targeting, drawing an increasingly angry response from the West.
A staunch backer of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, Moscow began sorties over the country on Wednesday in what it said would be a prolonged aerial campaign against IS and other extremist groups.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said airstrikes in the central province of Hama on Thursday hit locations controlled by the US-backed rebel group Tajamu Alezzah.
“This is a tricky maneuver, it’s a unsafe maneuver, but it’s a maneuver we must undertake because we must make it crystal clear to Russian Federation that they do not get to move into the Middle East and become the dominant outside power, which is clearly their intention”, Fiorina added.
A frame grab taken from fooA frame grab taken from footage released by Russia’s Defence Ministry October 2, 2015, showing smoke rising after airstrikes carried out by the Russian air force in Maarat al-Numan in Syria.
Several sources in Hama and Homs reported that dozens of civilians were killed and others wounded in the Russian raids.
‘We have been receiving military support from America’.
Russian Federation launched air strikes in Syria on Wednesday, its first major military engagement outside the former Soviet Union since the occupation of Afghanistan in 1979.
Lieutenant General Robert Otto, the deputy chief of staff for intelligence and surveillance for the USA air force, said the Russians have been dropping “dumb bombs”, a reference to munitions that are not precision-guided.
Moscow told the US aircraft battling ISIS in Homs to leave Syrian airspace. But many of these groups have had limited success against Assad’s forces.