Col. Steve Warren, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq, said “there is a lot of square miles in Syria“, so pilots accidentally encountering each other in the air is possible, but not likely.
Reports indicate that many of Russia’s airstrikes, launched on Wednesday, have been focused on insurgent groups fighting the Syrian army instead of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), the BBC says.
The U.S. and its allies fear the strikes have been targeting non-IS opponents of Russia’s ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – a claim denied by Moscow.
“We see eye to eye with” the US-led coalition on targeting ISIL, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups, Lavrov said at the United Nations headquarters.
“If the United States-led coalition targets only terrorist groups, then we do the same”, he said.
Russia’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, also cast the USA reports as misguided. Capt. Jeff Davis, Pentagon spokesman, said those talks had begun.
Ali said his fighters had attended several trainings in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The heartland of the group known variously as Daesh or Islamic State is, however, in the North East of Syria, leading to questions of who the real targets are.
Lebanese sources told the news agency that troops from Iran have been in the country for the last 10 days in preparation for a joint offensive aimed at recapturing rebel territory formerly held by President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
“A real and thorough fight against terrorism, which is a common threat to regional and global peace and stability, is necessary”, Afkham said in a statement. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that more than 30 civilians were killed, including women and children.
She said the airstrikes come in response to an “official request by Syria’s government from the Russian Federation”.
U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said “the Russians don’t appear to be holding back in their efforts to shore up the murderous Assad regime“.
He said the Russian jets were identified by former Syrian air force pilots who are now members of his group.