Daily Management Review

Russia Conducts Air Strikes in Syria for the Third day, ISIS Areas Excluded


Russia Conducts Air Strikes in Syria for the Third day, ISIS Areas Excluded
Like in the previous two attacks, on Friday, Russia bombed Syria for a third day mainly hitting areas held by rival insurgent groups rather than the Islamic State fighters it said it was targeting.

The air strikes have come under severe criticism from Washington which claimed that Moscow has been using its campaign as a pretext to hit other groups opposed to Russia's ally, President Bashar al-Assad. The US has been leading a separate air campaign against Islamic State.

Groups that are supported by countries which oppose both Assad and Islamic State, including at least one group that received training from the CIA, were at the receiving end of the air attacks.

However, on Friday, Moscow claimed that its latest strikes had hit 12 Islamic State targets. But the opposition and the other western countries operating in Syria at the moment refused to believe the Russian claims arguing that most of the areas it described were in parts of the country where the militant group has little or no sway.
Sukhoi-34, Sukhoi-24M and Sukhoi-25 warplanes from Russia had flown 18 sorties, describing targets in western and northern Syria, said the Russian Defense Ministry.
The targets included a command post and a communications center in the province of Aleppo, a militant field camp in Idlib and a command post in Hama.
The areas where the Russian air strikes happened had no presence of the Islamic State  especially in the western and northern areas that were struck, claimed the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict with a network of sources on the ground in Syria.
One of the targets hit in the latest Russian air strikes, the town of Dar Tazzah in North Western Aleppo province, was controlled by a number of insurgent groups including the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, said the Observatory's head, Rami Abdulrahman.
Islamic State areas in a small number of other attacks further east have come under the Russian air strikes. 12 Islamic State fighters were killed near Raqqa on Thursday, and planes believed to be Russian had also struck the Islamic State-held city of Qarytayn, said the Observatory.
The 4 year old Syrian crisis underwent a dramatic escalation of foreign involvement since President Vladimir Putin's decision this week to launch air strikes on Syria, in a war in which every major country in the region has a stake.
O Thursday news agency Reuters had reported, quoting Lebanese sources, that hundreds of Iranian troops have also arrived in recent days in Syria to participate in a major ground offensive alongside government troops and their Lebanese and Iraqi Shi'ite militia allies.
With Russia getting engaged in the air strikes over Syrian air space means that the Cold War superpower foes Moscow and Washington are now flying combat missions over the same country for the first time since World War Two.
While both Russia and the US claimed that their common enemy in the middle eastern crisis was the Islamic state, both the countries also have opposing views of how to resolve a war that has killed at least 250,000 people and driven more than 10 million from their homes.

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