The latest developments as Russian Federation and other nations counter Islamic State militants in Syria.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said: “The discussion focused on the ways the U.S. and Russian Federation can communicate and effectively “deconflict” our operations inside of Syria“. Russian officials say Moscow is assisting its Middle East ally in its fight against ISIS, but USA officials are concerned that the strikes are aimed at rebel groups opposing the regime, including those backed by the U.S.
The observatory also reported that airstrikes hit the northwestern city Jisr al-Shughour, which is in the hands of rebel groups including al-Nusra, after battles last month to drive back Assad’s forces.
Information on casualties among civilians appeared in Western media before Russian arcraft left ground, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.
The French military have already been involved in carrying out air strikes against Islamic State forces in the region.
Russia’s defence ministry said that over the past 24 hours it had damaged or destroyed 12 targets in Syria belonging to IS fighters, including a command centre and ammunition depots.
“We believe that the Free Syrian Army should be part of the political process, like a few other armed groups on the ground composed of the Syrians’ patriotic opposition individuals”, Lavrov said.
Hassan Haj Ali, head of the Liwa Suqour al-Jabal rebel group, told Reuters one of the targets was his group’s base in Idlib province, struck by around 20 missiles in two separate sorties.
“Russia’s recent military build-up and intervention in Syria are neither meant to defeat ISIS nor to relieve the suffering of Syrian refugees”.
In comments after the meeting, posted early Thursday on the Russian Foreign Ministry website, Mr Lavrov said: “In response to a request by the Syrian leadership, we are helping to fight exclusively with ISIS and other terrorist groups”.
At a Pentagon news conference Thursday, spokesman Colonel Steve Warren did not confirm reports that Iranian troops had crossed into Syria.
Matviyenko added, “In this situation, we could not refuse Syrian President Bashar Assad and continue watching how people die, how women and children die, how historical and cultural sites are being destroyed”.
“Russia is challenging everyone and saying there is no alternative to Bashar”, Haj Ali said.
He said claims that Russian jets killed civilians in Syria emerged before their war planes launched first attacks Wednesday.