Russian Air Force Launches Airstrikes Against IS in Syria

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( — September 30, 2015) — The Russian Air Force has begun carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, Russia Today cited the country’s Defense Ministry.

“In accordance with the decision of the Supreme Commander of the Russian Armed Forces, Vladimir Putin, warplanes of the Russian Air Space Forces today [Wednesday] have started an aerial operation, involving  pinpoint strikes on ground targets of Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] terrorists in Syria,” spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Konashenkov, said.

According to Konashenkov, the Russian Air Force is targeting military equipment, communication centers, vehicles, arms and fuel depots, belonging to IS terrorists.

A Pentagon official also told Russia’s RIA Novosti that Russia urged the US to clear the skies for the operation.

The attack comes shortly after the Russian Parliament Authorized the Military to Fight ISIS in Syria, however, despite the fact that the Russian military deployed tanks and other combat combat vehicles to Syria, the Russian Duma didn’t authorize ground troops.

Russia used its warplanes to hit terrorist targets where requested by the Syrian government, the Chief of Putin’s administration Ivanov said at the press conference. He stressed that unlike the US-led coalition of countries that bombs militant troops in Syria, Russia was invited to do so by the legal authorities of Syria and thus follows international law.

The move comes as the Putin’s administration criticized the Western air ride campaign, calling it a complete failure.

After a year of bombing ISIS targets in Syria, the Islamists grew even stronger, because the Western countries “supported the wrong boots on the ground,” John Laughland from the Institute of the Democracy and Cooperation based in Paris, France, told RT.

The key difference, according to Laughland, is that Western countries proclaimed Assad’s army the enemy as same as the ISIS, while providing military support to the rebels, who later joins Islamists, which simply can’t work.

In order to “prevent any kind of accidents,”  Moscow agrees to inform Washington about its airstrikes, Laughland said, adding that it is the result of the Obama and Putin meeting in UN this week.

In the report, RT cited the Syrian representative in the UN, Bahsar Jaafari who stated that the Syrian army could defeat the ISIS if the Islamists were not supported directly with money and weapons by the “real terrorists” naming Turkey and Jordan as the main contributors.

“The real Islamic State is not those who fight on the ground, the real IS is those who supplied them with money and arms, those who create it and protect it on the diplomatic field,” Jaafari said.

“I am surprised to hear Jordan, he obviously knows something I don’t,” laughland told RT in an interview, adding he is more surprised that the Syrian representative didn’t mentioned Saudi Arabia, citing Saudi Arabian foreign minister who said Tuesday to the UN that Assar Bashad  “has to go.”