Moscow insists the strikes it began in Syria on Wednesday are targeting Islamic State and other militant groups, including the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front, and may last as long as four months, a Russian politician has said. Either a clear policy from the United States to prevent Russia and the regime from bombing Syrians, or otherwise they should send us antiaircraft missiles so that we can confront the Russian planes.
US President Barack Obama later warned that Russia’s aggressive military campaign in support of Assad was a “recipe for disaster”.
As concerns grew about a conflict that has now drawn in warplanes from the world’s two most powerful militaries including that of the U.S., Russian President Vladimir Putin denied reports that civilians were killed in any Russian airstrikes.
“These military actions constitute a further escalation and will only fuel more extremism and radicalisation”, it reads.
The Russian defence ministry said that the latest strikes targeted a facility used to produce explosive devices near the city of Maaret al-Numan in Idlib province, as well as a nearby “terrorist” base.
Russian fighter jets have reportedly bombed the main stronghold of the Takfiri Daesh terror group in Syria’s Raqqa Province, four days into Moscow’s military campaign against terrorists in the Arab state.
Putin “doesn’t distinguish between ISIL and a moderate Sunni opposition that wants to see Mr. Assad go”, Obama told reporters.
Meanwhile, Syria’s United Nations ambassador said that Russian Federation had every right to strike out at terrorists in Syria and Moscow slammed the Western attempts to unleash an information war against it.
Putin is due to hold talks with President Francois Hollande in the French capital on Syria before attending a summit also involving the leaders of Ukraine and Germany aimed at consolidating the fragile peace in Ukraine.
A Russian Defence ministry spokesman said today: “I would like to underline that there were no airstrikes on civilian infrastructure, the more so on the buildings where there could have been or indeed have been peaceful civilians”.
Russian jets on Thursday hit areas in the suburbs of Hama and Idlib , all areas under the control of loose coalitions of rebel groups, including the Western-backed Free Syrian Army.
“Moreover, unlike other countries which have been carrying out air strikes on Syrian territory without a UN Security Council resolution or a corresponding request from the official Syrian authorities for over a year now, we have such request from the Syrian Government and act legitimately”.