September 30th, 2015
(Era of Wisdom) Homs, Syria — After approval in the Russian government, Russia’s first airstrikes alleged to be targeting ISIS in Syria struck near the small town of Homs, in the provinces of Homs and Hama.
Syrian rebels and “opposition media outlets” claim that 24 people have been killed.
This is video footage from the scene of the airstrikes.
A commander from a “Syrian rebel group” known as Tajammu al Izzah said the airstrikes targeted his organization’s headquarters.
Tajammu al Izzah operates in northern Hama, bearing allegiance to the Free Syrian Army.
“These are the first Russian strikes and the targets will be symbolic. The targets won’t have been selected by accident,” commented UK foreign secretary Philip Hammond, illustrating that the significance of the strikes would lie primarily in what targets are hit.
According to The Guardian “US officials said the strikes did not appear to be targeting areas held by Isis forces, and signalled deep dissatisfaction with Russia.”
Russian officials have attempted to communicate with the United States about this. There were focused talks between the U.S. and Russia at the UN 70th General Assembly last weekend.
This comes a day after the Pentagon announced that US defense chief Ashton Carter was “establishing a communications channel with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoygu, to ‘deconflict’ any overlapping airstrikes.”
Russia advised the U.S. to stay out of Syrian airspace in preparation for Russian strikes, but U.S. officials rejected the advice.
“While we would welcome a constructive role by Russia in this effort [to deconflict strikes], today’s demarche hardly seems indicative of that sort of role and will in no way alter our operations,” said a U.S. defense official.
The U.S.’ official stance on this is apparently one of opposition, as a senior U.S. administration official told CNN the Russian airstrike “has no strategic purpose” in combating ISIS, and it “shows they are not there to go after ISIL.”
This article (Russia Launches First Airstrike in Syria; U.S. Officials Respond) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Cassius Methyl and Era of Wisdom.org.