Another four Islamic State fighters were killed in the strikes Tuesday near Raqqa, the eastern city which has been the group’s stronghold in Syria for the last two years.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said the Palmyra strikes were launched overnight and killed at least 15 IS fighters and injured dozens more. The Kremlin, a staunch supporter of the ruling Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, says it wants to weaken the militant group known as the Islamic State.
Russian Federation has denied reports that its fighter jets hit a number of Islamic State targets in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra.
“This is a real war on Sunnis, their countries and their identities”, said the statement.
Russian Federation began its air campaign last week to bomb Islamic State and other jihadist groups in Syria, its first foray outside the former Soviet Union in more than three decades. It urged the rebels to join a “jihad against the enemy of God and your enemy and Muslims will back you every way they can”. But US officials acknowledged that this is one of the questions being asked as they debate the administration’s response to what White House press secretary Josh Earnest described as Russia’s “indiscriminate military operations against the Syrian opposition”.
Bombers targeted key ISIS military installations in and around the modern day Syrian city as a senior North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief warned that there is now a “substantial” build up of Russian ground troops in the war-torn country.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham on Thursday voiced the country’s support for Russia’s attacks against Takfiri terrorists in Syria.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan pressed for the introduction of a no-fly zone over a safe area that would be created in Syria for refugees fleeing the fighting during talks with European Union leaders on Monday.
The Syrian wing of the banned Muslim Brotherhood also issued a statement, calling on the Syrians to wage jihad against what they called the “flagrant Russian occupation of Syria”. “The American role in Syria recently has been very weak”, said Abu Obeida, “but it’s looked especially weak before Russian Federation“.
Jens Stoltenberg condemned the Russian intrusion into Turkey’s airspace and on Tuesday called it deliberate provocation.
The umbrella group of the Free Syrian Army (which is backed by the U.S.), the Islamist Ahrar al-Sham (The Free Men of Syria) group, and the Jaish al-Islam group that is part of the wider Islamic Front coalition fighting the Assad regime, all signed the joint statement. ISIS is one of several acronyms for the Islamic State; ISIL is another.