Russian Federation strikes in Syria will escalate conflict: US-led coalition

The Syrian opposition and others have suggested rebel factions opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – the Kremlin’s ally – are bearing the brunt of the Russian attacks.

Advertisement

The airstrikes drew sharp rebuke from the United States and further raised tensions in the region.

White House spokesman Earnest said he could not confirm reports that Iranian troops were on the ground in Syria and preparing for a ground offensive, but he said that if the reports were true, they would be an “apt and powerful” illustration of how Russia’s military operations have worsened the conflict.

Russian air strikes in Syria will last for three to four months and will intensify, a senior Russian lawmaker said Friday as President Vladimir Putin was due in Paris for talks.

Russian Federation carried out a fresh wave of airstrikes in Syria on Friday amid worldwide warnings that Moscow’s military action would “fuel extremism” and fears on the ground that civilians were being killed.

The Syrian conflict, which began as protests against Assad’s regime in 2011, has escalated into a multi-faceted war that has drawn thousands of fighters from overseas.

Russian jets made their first strikes in Syria on Wednesday, and quickly faced complaints about its targets.

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.

“It does appear that they were in areas where there probably were not [Daesh] forces, and that is precisely one of the problems with this whole approach”, Carter said during an afternoon press conference at the Pentagon.

The US-led coalition has been targeting IS for about a year and is carrying out near-daily air strikes in Syria.

In the second day of strikes, Russian Federation said it launched eight sorties with Sukhoi warplanes overnight, hitting four Islamic State targets.

Lavrov said the legal basis for air strikes in the past year by the US-led coalition of Western allies and regional states against Islamic State targets in Syria was “really flawed”. We are going to fight ISIL (IS) and other terrorist groups. Targets were chosen based on advance intelligence, including air surveillance gathered and verified by Russian Federation and Syria.

It actively uses space reconnaissance and drones in Syria to gain information on the whereabouts of Islamic State fighters, the ministry added.

Advertisement

Turkey has been one of the biggest backers of rebels seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, funneling weapons and supplies to various rebel factions, particularly the Islamist Ahrar al-Sham. Khaled Khoja, head of the Syrian National Council opposition group, said at the United Nations that Russian airstrikes in four areas, including Talbiseh, killed dozens of civilians, with children among the dead.

Russian military jet