Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be betting that Obama, wary of seeing the United States pulled into another Middle East war, would be unlikely to respond aggressively.
An estimated 250,000 people have been killed in Syria’s four-year civil war between Mr Assad’s troops, rebel groups and Islamic State. “But it is no less important to provide with modern armaments and military hardware the followers of Syrian government forces, primarily the Syrian army, Kurdish militia and other supporters of President Bashar al-Assad”, Yakubov said. It can be presumed too that the Russian pilots in Syria today, if the 1970 incident is known to them, will not be out to settle scores.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says airstrikes in the central province of Hama on Thursday have hit locations of the U.S-backed rebel group, Tajamu Alezzah.
Though gaining operational experience on the Sukhoi Su-30SM and Su-34 is likely an important aspect of the Russian deployment, the Russians might have another objective in deploying their latest jets to the theatre.
The rebels themselves, however, were outspoken, and left little doubt that they’d been deliberately targeted by Russian forces trying to keep Assad in power.
Two members of a rebel brigade operating in Talbiseh told VICE News via phone that fast jets of a kind they’d never seen before hit the town between 1pm and 2pm causing dozens of casualties including civilians and children. The training is taking place in Turkey and has so far produced less than a hundred fighters.
“I would recall that we always were saying that we are going to fight ISIL and other terrorist groups”, said at United Nations headquarters.
According to a statement by the ministry’s spokeswoman, Marzieh Afkham, the “Islamic Republic of Iran considers military action by Russian Federation against armed terrorist groups to be a step toward fighting terrorism and toward resolving the current crisis” in Syria.
Moscow began flying its first sorties on Wednesday, with strikes ostensibly aimed at Daesh hitting near western Syria’s Hama and Homs.
On Thursday, Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren noted that the U.S.-led coalition had not scaled back on its missions against the Islamic State in Syria, despite the presence of the Russian aircraft in the same skies.
But officials and residents in militant-held areas say it has left residents even more desperate, alienated from a government many feel has abandoned them.
JERUSALEM-As Russian warplanes struck for the first time in Syria Wednesday and asked other foreign air forces to get out of the way, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Israel will defend its interests in Syria without seeking permission from Russia.
The attack, against a training camp run by the Liqa Suqour al-Jabal group, part of the loosely-knit Free Syrian Army (FSA), is believed to be the third Russian air raid againt a rebel group that has received support from President Bashar al-Assad’s foreign enemies. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the Russian airstrikes were expected.