Russia’s air forces will intensify airstrikes against the posts of extremist group Islamic State (IS) in Syria, a senior military official has said.
“The alliance between Russian Federation, Syria, Iraq and Iran must succeed or else the whole region will be destroyed”, Assad told Iranian state television.
Russian Federation began airstrikes on Wednesday to bolster the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Russia’s only naval base outside of its territories is also located on the coast, in the Syrian city of Tartus. But an ancient town in Homs province, which is controlled by IS, was spared.
The rebels attacked by Russian forces on Wednesday and Thursday were in western Syria, alongside al Qaeda affiliates and far from any ISIS positions.
But he added that “the chances of success for this coalition are great and not insignificant”.
A member of the Russian general staff said the lraids had forced hundreds of IS militants to flee.
But he restated his position he will not order RAF airstrikes against Isil to be extended from Iraq into Syria until he has secured the approval of the House of Commons. “Otherwise it will have no value,” he said.
“Russia’s entry into this struggle [with ISIL], with its [Russia’s] potential and opportunities, in our judgment, will contribute to reduction of the terrorism in Syria, and its eradication”, Sameh Shoukry said in an interview with the Saudi Al Arabiya broadcaster.
With the Islamic State apparently lacking any sophisticated air defense weapons, Putin can run his air campaign without risking casualties that could provoke a negative reaction at home.
Obama said the USA will continue its current policies of attacking Islamic State, supporting Syrian moderates and working with the Turks along the border – and above all, seeking a political solution, which he said will “not be easy” but is “still possible”.
The statement also said the warplanes attacked a training camp in Raqqa province, which is controlled by the Islamic State group. “[Putin is] shoring up Assad and perpetuating the suffering”.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said those strikes had killed at least a dozen ISIS fighters.
“Russian support for him will drive the opposition in Syria into the arms of ISIL, strengthening the evil that Putin says he wants to defeat,” he said. It was always absurd for Washington and its allies to frame the problem as one of “Assad in or Assad out”, when an end to the Assad leadership would lead either to the disintegration of the Syrian state, as in Iraq and Libya, or would have limited impact because participants in the Syrian civil war would simply go on fighting. “I don’t think that coalition will achieve anything except a certain balance between those forces on the ground to keep the fire raging”.
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said that Russia’s Western partners had failed to explain the term “moderate opposition” as monitors claimed that Russian jets had bombed two Syrian villages, killing one person. “The only goal that was realized … is the destruction of much infrastructure in Syria, shedding lots of blood”.
Mirsky said the bigger worry was that the airstrikes would kill not only militants but Sunni Arab civilians, motivating Islamic terrorists to turn their sights on Russian Federation and making it easier for them to recruit volunteers within Russian Federation. Who Assad accused of hypocrisy due to their support for insurgents fighting in Syria.
“That is a situation where we can not coordinate with them without fundamentally altering our objectives and partnerships, which would be foolish”, he added.
Over a half million people have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe this year, more than double the figure for all of 2014, most of whom are Syrians.
Igor Konashenkov said Su-34 and Su-24M aircraft took part in the strikes on Friday and Saturday.