The USA and other members of a rival coalition targeting IS say Moscow has focused the bulk of its firepower on other rebel groups battling Assad.
Kartapolov said that Russia – which already has a naval facility in the port city of Tartus and uses an airfield in Latakia – could build a full-fledged Russian military base in the country.
Russian Federation may fire missiles at Islamic State group militants in Syria from ships in the Mediterranean Sea, a senior officer told a Moscow newspaper Oct.16. “It will be one base that will include several components – Navy, Air Force and ground forces”, Kartapolov said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily. The two bases now in use have been adequate to funnel in troops, hardware and supplies to Syria, and to conduct air missions in the region, but neither is equipped to host a large ground force.
Traces of airstrikes against commercial structures have been found on the Syrian-Jordanian border where neither Russian nor Syria aircraft have ever operated, said Col. Gen. Andrei Kartapolov, head of the Main Operations Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff. “We only hit targets of internationally-recognized terrorist groups”.
We can’t allow them to use the experience they have just gained in Syria back home. “You can call them different things – moderate or immoderate opposition – but anyone taking up arms against legitimate authorities, are they moderates?”
Kartapolov slammed the US-led coalition, saying the United States had not responded to Russia’s invitation to cooperate in the fight against IS.
He also recounted the words of a Syrian general, who allegedly told Kartapolov that “the activities of the Russian air force have returned the smiles to the faces of Syrian children”.