Russia conducted its first airstrike in Syria, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said Wednesday. “Two Russian Sukhoi Su-24 flew on a combat mission in the area of the city of Homs in 213 kilometers north of Damascus”, – reported Vesti.ru today. The edition also informed that “Bashar Assad asked military support in a letter to Vladimir Putin. Later, a formal request for help also confirmed advisor to Syrian Information Minister Ali al-Ahmadi. Moreover, he believes that the West should follow the example of Russia”, – edition said.
Earlier today the Federal Council of the State Duma of the Russian Federation supported by 162 votes the Resolution, introduced by President Vladimir Putin, on the use of Russian Armed Forces outside the territory of Russia.
“The basis of the Aviation Regiment, which participated in the operation in Syria, consists of Su-25 and Sukhoi Su-24”, the president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Doctor of Military Sciences Konstantin Sivkov said to Russian edition.
The airstrike targeted ISIS military equipment, communications centers, vehicles and ammunition, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said, as part of pinpoint strikes against ISIS ground targets, CNN informed.
The Syrian state-run news agency SANA also said Russian airstrikes targeted ISIS targets in Homs province.
But a senior U.S. administration official told CNN that Russian airstrike near the city of Homs “has no strategic purpose” in terms of combating ISIS, which “shows they are not there to go after ISIS.”
Putin, speaking earlier Wednesday at a government meeting, said his country would not be involved in the Syrian conflict, Russian air forces will help Assad’s army while it’s on the offensive mode, but they will not conduct operations on Syrian soil.
It should be recalled that Russian troops in Latakia have been reinforced by 28 fighter and bomber aircrafts. The Kremlin said earlier that Russian troops may join the operations if the Syrian government requests help and without reconciliation with the U.S. and its allies do not agree to join military actions.