Yesterday Russia conducted the first air strike in Syria. Russian media reported 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”. Later 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.
And not long after that “two Russian Sukhoi Su-24 flew on a combat mission in the area of the city of Homs in 213 kilometers north of Damascus”, – as Vesti.ru reported.
But 24 hours into the military campaign, it remains unclear who, exactly, Russia is targeting — the terrorist group ISIS or other, perhaps more moderate, forces among al-Assad’s opponents.
“At the request of the Syrian government, we’re helping them to fight ISIS and other terrorist groups,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Today, on October 1, Russia conducted new strikes in Syria. Russian air forces hit in the city of Hama, located on the banks of the Orontes River, Joinfo.ua reports.
Lebanese journalists have reported that air strikes inflicted on the northwest side of the city, where soldiers from the “Army of Conquest” were deployed.
Syrian officials said that the Russians conducted airstrikes in “complete cooperation” with the Syrian army, Syria’s ambassador to Russia, Riad Haddad, said in a news conference Thursday. Responding to U.S. accusations that the Russians are not targeting ISIS but other groups opposed to the Syrian regime, Haddad said any armed group fighting the Syrian forces is considered terrorist. The opposition Free Syrian Army, Haddad said, is not different from ISIS in the eyes of the Syrian government, CNN reports.