US-led coalition condemn Russian air strikes in Syria

By Declan Scanlan Saturday, 03 October 2015 15:00 0
Aleppo, Syria Aleppo, Syria Photo Credit yeowatzup Wikipedia

Members of the US-led coalition against Islamic State have called on Russia to stop air strikes they claim are hitting the Syrian opposition and civilians in ajoint statementon Friday October 2.

The US, UK, Turkey and other coalition members said Russian strikes would “only fuel more extremism.”

Russia, which according to witnesses launched fresh strikes on Friday, says it is targeting Islamic State (IS).

Alexei Pushkov, the head of the foreign affairs committee in Russia's parliament said that the US had only “pretended” to bomb IS and promised that Russia’s campaign would be much more effective.

The Russian air force began air strikes in Syria on Wednesday.

The Syrian military said Russia had carried out a total of 18 air strikes since Thursday evening. It said several of these were in Aleppo, Hama and Idlib, provinces with little IS presence.

Communications towers belonging to the Free Syrian Army, forces opposed to President Assad which have received American training and supplies, were destroyed in a Russian air strike in Aleppo.

The Russian defence ministry said it had attacked the IS stronghold of Raqqa on Thursday.

The strikes in Syria are Russia's first military engagement outside the borders of the former Soviet Union since the end of the Cold War.

The Syrian opposition and others have suggested non-IS rebel factions opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - the Kremlin’s ally - are bearing the brunt of the Russian attacks.

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