Even if he wanted to, he could face legal limitations due to the scope of his presidential war powers. In interviews with BuzzFeed News, several Syrians who have received USA support, civilian and military alike, said that they feared suffering a similar fate. USA officials were largely silent on what damage the Russians had done, with a few privately saying they suspected the Russians had attacked the fighters in part to embarrass the United States. And the USA doesn’t know yet if there’s any way to respond.
Russian Defense Ministry Igor Konashenkov also gave credence to the accusation, reported Fox News. The plan is separate from the US military’s train-and-equip program aimed at building a Syrian rebel force to fight radical Islamic State insurgents.
MARGARET WARNER: As Russian military video showed strikes across the country, a colonel speaking from Syria maintained they targeted the Islamic State.
“Their initial strikes were against the individuals and the groups that have been funded and trained by our Central Intelligence Agency”, McCain told CNN, adding that the move showed Moscow’s real priority: to “prop up” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The fact that they have not decided to make a constructive contribution to our counter-ISIL effort, means that Russia’s not doing exactly what we would like them to do in Syria, and that’s not unusual in the relationship between our two countries.
“If Russia’s recent actions and those now ongoing reflect a genuine commitment to defeat that organization, then we are prepared to welcome those efforts,” he said. But so far that is not believed to have happened.
On Tuesday, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said Carter had instructed his staff to contact Russian officials about establishing talks on ways to keep each other’s air operations in Syria from colliding or otherwise getting in each other’s way. Here is another essential difference between our approach and the approach of our partners: “they are not honoring worldwide law but we are”, the Kremlin administration head noted in conclusion.
U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement that a Russian official in Baghdad informed U.S. Embassy personnel that Russian military aircraft would shortly begin flying anti-IS missions over Syria. Washington also wants Russian Federation to agree to stop striking moderate rebel targets.