Russia carries out first air strikes in Syria

Russia has carried out its first air strikes in Syria targeting Islamic State, the Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed on Wednesday.

Source: B92

Earlier in the day, U.S. officials said Russian warplanes targeted opponents of the regime of Bashar al-Assad in the area around the city of Homs, and that Washington was informed in advance that this would happen.

BBC said this development came after Syrian President Assad officially requested military assistance from Russia.

RT reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin said that "preemptive strikes is how you fight terrorism."

"Despite its name, Islamic State has little to do with the religion of Islam. Radicals from many countries of the world, including Russia, have flocked to Iraq and Syria to join the terrorist group. They must be defeated there and not allowed to return to their home countries with battle experience and ideology adopted in the war zone," the president said.

He added it would be "good if other nations joined the anti-terrorist fight of Russia in Syria."

The civil war has been ongoing in the Middle Easter country for four years, with armed rebel groups fighting against the army of the Assad regime. Among them is the terrorist organization Islamic State.

Earlier on Wednesday - a day after Putin spoke at the UN to express a stance on the situation in Syria opposite to that of his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama - the Russian Federation Council authorized air strikes in Syria.

Russia previously announced it could join the air strike campaign with UN's approval, but ruled out any ground intervention.

At the same time, the Pentagon confirmed it will be in communication with the Kremlin in order to exchange information on the air strikes.

Beside Russia and the United States, air strikes are currently being carried out in Syria by France and the United Kingdom.


"Russia not planning field operations in Syria"

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country does not plan to send ground troops to Syria, and will continue to support the Syrian government.

World Monday, September 28, 2015 10:29 Comments: 2
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