Assad: Russia’s military intervention in Syria vital, US-led coalition failed

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said it fully supports Russian airstrikes against “terrorist groups” in Syria.

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It said the air force had used “pinpoint strikes” against ISIS facilities in Hama, Homs, Idlib and Latakia provinces.

In a message to their younger brothers, twins Zahra and Salma Halane said: “We might seem evil to you, but we will all be happy in jannah (the afterlife)”.

Russia’s only naval base outside of its territories is also on the coast, in the Syrian city of Tartus.

“By taking military action in Syria against moderate groups targets, Russian Federation has escalated the civil war“, Carter said in a speech in Madrid.

– The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor says, however, the strikes mainly targeted Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front and other Islamist rebels.

“We should finally acknowledge that no one but President Assad’s armed forces and Kurds militias are truly fighting the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations in Syria,” he said.

Russian jets carry out strikes on nine IS sites in Syria in 24 hours, Moscow says. Moscow asserts it is targeting only Islamic State positions, but reports indicate Russia has also bombed rebel groups that oppose Russian ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“What is for certain is that the Western officials are lost, lack clarity of vision and are feeling the failure of their plots (toward Syria),” he said.

A separate statement in the name of dozens of Free Syrian Army officers said they would take part in the unified command “to confront the Russian and Iranian occupation”.

Assad insisted that it is up to the Syrian people to decide who rules the country and under what political system, not foreign leaders.

Mr Assad accused the USA and its Western and Arab allies of hypocrisy due to their support for insurgents fighting in Syria.

The Pentagon on Thursday had its first conversation with Russian officials in an effort to avoid any unintended U.S.-Russian confrontations as the airstrikes continue in the skies over Syria.

“Such zones, if implemented appropriately, would keep Syrians inside Syria, help a volunteered return of refugees and encourage people to believe again in a stable future for their country”, he said.

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On Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Russian airstrikes were unacceptable and a grave mistake that could alienate Moscow in the region.

Syrian crisis: Russia air strikes strikes 'strengthen IS'