Syria’s President Bashar Assad said in comments Sunday that the air campaign by Russian Federation against “terrorists” in his country must succeed or the whole region will be destroyed, stressing that the fight against terrorism must precede a political process.
The defense secretary is pushing a narrative of USA cooperation versus Russian isolation, making the case that the U.S.is working with a coalition of more than 60 nations, while Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to back Assad through unilateral airstrikes “is tethering Russia to a sinking ship”.
Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer is a retired US intelligence officer and now a senior fellow with the London Center on Policy Research.
Russian military jets carried out strikes on nine Islamic State sites in Syria over the past 24 hours, the defence ministry in Moscow said today.
“(Russia’s) attacks… led to civilian casualties and did not target Da’esh (Islamic State)”, the statement said.
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on 5 October saying that two of the country’s Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons were scrambled after an unspecified Russian aircraft entered its airspace south of the Yayladagi/Hatay region, near the Syrian border. Rather than go after ISIS, the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation have said that Russian Federation has nearly exclusively attacked other rebels opposed to al-Assad, including the moderate rebels America supports.
Walid al-Moallem says in remarks broadcast on Beirut’s Al-Mayadeen TV that Russian Federation closely coordinates with the Syrian army over its airstrikes.
Russian Federation says the airstrikes that began Wednesday are targeting the Islamic State group and al-Qaida’s Syrian affiliates, but at least a few of the strikes appear to have hit Western-backed rebel factions. He called on countries that support the armed opposition to stop.
Speaking yesterday on Iranian television he said a coalition of Syria, Russia, Iran and Iraq could achieve real results.
Syria’s conflict grew out of protests against Assad’s rule in early 2011, which were put down by force and then turned violent, drawing in regional opponents and supporters of the Syrian leader. He addressed favorable conditions for the political solution to the civil war, and the deteriorating refugee crisis. But he also repeated that Syria’s domestic politics are an internal matter and something for the Syrian people to decide, not outside powers.
“It’s up to the Syrian people to choose their leadership”. “That’s why these statements don’t concern us”.