If the first rounds of Russian airstrikes are any indication of their future plans in Syria, it seems inevitable that most of the rebel groups Turkey has been supporting in recent years will be severely weakened.
Russian Federation said it is launching its campaign to target IS and other terrorists groups, but a few of the targets so far have included Western-backed groups.
“We will not only continue strikes… we will also increase their intensity”, said Andrei Kartapolov from the Russian army.
The Kremlin has denied reports that its strikes have killed at least 36 civilians, including five children. The air raid came as hundreds of people fled their homes in areas near Hobeit, fearing a ground offensive by government forces, activists said.
Since the airstrikes began Wednesday, Russian jets have primarily bombed central and northwestern Syria, regions that are the gateway to government strongholds in Damascus and the coast.
It said 14 fighters, mostly IS militants, had also been killed. It is going to make the region more unstable.
A security source said they had been aimed at “military positions and command centers held by the Army of Conquest in Jisr al-Shughur… and Jabal al-Zawiya in Idlib”.
“The Russian policy is driving those folks [rebels] underground, or creating a situation in which they are de-capacitated, and it’s only strengthening ISIL.” he said.
The campaign is the first time Moscow has sent forces into combat beyond the frontiers of the former Soviet Union since the disastrous Afghanistan campaign of the 1980s, a bold move by Mr Putin to extend Russia’s influence beyond its neighbourhood.
The Observatory said Russian warplanes struck a hospital in the mountains of the coastal province of Latakia, causing damage but no casualties.
Earlier, the French president demanded Putin “attack Islamic State and only Islamic State“.
Pentagon officials urged the Russian military on Thursday to focus its airstrikes in Syria on Islamic State fighters rather than opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad, US administration officials said.
“There have been a number of statements by both president Putin and foreign minister Lavrov, but we understand that they are also broadening their attacks into part of Syria where ISIL or Daesh are not apparent and so it would appear that Russia’s motivations go beyond just targeting Daesh”.
Western nations including France say they are prepared to discuss a political solution with elements of the Syrian regime, but insist Assad must leave power.
Al-Moallem stressed that the working groups proposed by the U.N.’s special envoy on Syria, Staffan de Mistura, are nonbinding.
Television presenters spoke of anti-Assad forces being bombed in northern Syria, but seldom added that the most important of these were Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar ash-Sham.
The statement said the Russian airstrikes show that Moscow, which hosted several rounds of talks among rival Syrian groups, “was never a fair mediator but part of the conflict and a main ally for the criminal regime”.