The Russian minister of defense announced Wednesday that his country’s military jets have launched their first targeted airstrikes against the Islamic State.
Russian air forces carried out air strikes Wednesday in the central Syrian provinces of Homs and Hama, targeting what Moscow said were IS positions.
The ministry also published a video of the air strikes which appeared to show three targets being hit.
Russian Federation on Thursday insisted its warplanes in Syria were hitting at the same terrorists targeted by the United States and contradicted American criticism that its military failed to coordinate the airstrikes, describing the allegations as a “war of disinformation”.
“We have not seen any strikes against ISIL“, a U.S. defence official said, referring to the IS group by an alternative name.
Lavrov defended his country’s actions in Syria as he chaired the United Nations counterterrorism session.
The Russian attacks occurred before Moscow and Washington had begun agreed talks on averting clashes between different militaries in the theater of battle.
USA authorities claimed on Wednesday they were informed of Russian strikes just an hour before they took place.
“If nothing else right now, (Putin believes) you’ve got to establish a stable Syrian state and go after ISIS before you can even talk about the fate of Assad’s Syria or whether there will be a transition out”, he said.
But the United States would have “grave concerns” if Russian Federation starts attacking groups other than Islamic State or al-Qaida, Kerry said.
After sending troops and fighter planes to Syria, Putin on Monday called for a “broad coalition” to defeat the jihadists and warned it would be an “enormous mistake” to sideline Assad’s military from the fight. President Vladimir Putin has said Russian engagement in Syria is “temporary”.
Reports from Syria indicate the Russian strikes were directed at anti-regime forces and caused civilian casualties.
Kerry told the Security Council that the UN-led coalition would keep flying, saying it had done so on Wednesday.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Russian Federation was moving to “ramp up” support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, calling it “an indication of how concerned they are about losing influence in their one client state in the Middle East”.
“Today aircraft of Russia’s Aerospace Forces delivered pinpoint air strikes on eight facilities of the ISIL [former name of Islamic State] terrorist group on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic”.