Strikes must target all terrorists in Syria: French FM

Washington received convincing proof that any attempt to reach an agreement with the Kremlin is pointless. Russian navy ships in the eastern Mediterranean off Latakia and Tartus provide air cover and radar coverage to the air group.

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The statement also called for an worldwide coalition to help fight back at the Syrian regime and its two steadfast allies, Iran and Russian Federation. The Federation Council quickly authorized the president to start the new war. By no means would I ever defend Putin’s Syria policy, which is morally bankrupt.

Starting in May with his visit to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s residence in Sochi, Secretary of State John Kerry has been at the forefront of a renewed Russian diplomatic push in Syria.

Inserting Russian military power directly into the Syrian maelstrom is Vladimir Putin’s bold gambit to prop up sagging Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Previously, Cameron has said he sees a strong case for extending British air strikes to Syria from Iraq.

“We have managed to disrupt their control system, the terrorist organisation’s supply lines, and also caused significant damage to the infrastructure used to prepare acts of terror”, Russia’s defence ministry said. President Obama predicted Friday that Russian Federation would become stuck in a “quagmire” in Syria.

Arab countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar in a US-led coalition that has been carrying out strikes on ISIS since 2014 have so far refrained from making any statements other than one jointly issued by the US-led alliance urging Moscow to “immediately” halt the campaign and “focus” only on ISIS. Any captured airmen can expect an especially grim reception, but all manner of Russian personnel-including diplomats-will be considered fair game.

Given Moscow’s friendly relations with Turkey, its actions in Syria were “worrying and disturbing”. It’s just not one that promises to have much immediate impact on the course of the brutal civil war. Which the US found out about when a Russian general knocked on the door of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and delivered a brusque demarche announcing that the attack would begin within an hour and warning the U.S.to get out of the way.

The real question may turn out to be whether outside players can put aside their anger over Putin’s in-your-face military moves and join forces with Moscow to finally end this tragedy.

“At least 3,000 militants from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), al-Nusra and Jaish al-Yarmouk have fled to Jordan”.

Under such circumstances, it is unlikely that the Russian aircraft enjoy a few advantage that would give them victory on the battlefield.

The Russians have already signalled that they can raise the stakes in the Syrian game. “The only casualties are civilians”, said Abu el Baraa al Hamawi, from Ajnaad al-Sham rebel group.

When that happens, instead of restoring Russia’s place among the group of civilized nations, Moscow leaders will have only succeeded in drawing down additional sanctions against this country. The three or four aging landing ships that delivered the equipment for setting up the base are clearly inadequate to the task. The latest chapter unfolded after Moscow sent military reinforcements, weapons, ammunition and soldiers to Syria. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s October 1 claim that Russian airstrikes “are not supporting anyone [the Assad regime] against their own people” seems ludicrous in this context. The forces that Moscow has deployed are obviously insufficient to achieve even the tactical objectives in this struggle.

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Alexander Golts is deputy editor of the online newspaper Yezhednevny Zhurnal.

A frame grab shows smoke rising after airstrikes carried out by Russian air force on what was a bomb factory in Maarat al-Numan south of the town of Idlib Syria. – Reuters pic