Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed merciless war against the ISIS since his deployment of aviation forces in Syria in September. He then declared ruthless combat when ISIS downed a Russian passenger jet in Sinai in November. Now, he has thought of using nuclear weapons against the evil rebel group.
Morning News USA reported that for the first time on Tuesday, Russia launched Kalibr cruise missiles against the ISIS from a submarine based in the Mediterranean Sea. Upon knowing this development, Mr. Putin noted that the missiles could actually be loaded with nuclear weapons.
“With regard to strikes from a submarine. We certainly need to analyse everything that is happening on the battlefield, how the weapons work. Both the Calibre missiles and the Kh-101 rockets are generally showing very good results. We now see that these are new, modern and highly effective high-precision weapons that can be equipped either with conventional or special nuclear warheads,” Mr. Putin said in a meeting with his defense secretary, Sergei Shoigu. The president nevertheless hoped that he will not resort in giving such order.
“Naturally, we do not need that in fighting terrorists, and I hope we will never need it,” he said.
The chilling statement from Mr. Putin came days after Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu accused him of “ethnic cleansing.” According to the prime minister, Russia’s airstrikes in Syria were aimed at obliterating the Turkmen and Sunnis who were against the regime of President Bashir al-Assad. The Syrian president and Mr. Putin were allies. “Russia is trying to make ethnic cleansing in the northern Latakia [region] to force [out] all Turkmen and Sunni populations who do not have good relations with the [Syrian] regime,” Mr. Davutoglo was quoted as saying by BBC.
Since Russia participated in the war against the ISIS, nearly 5,000 Turkmen and Sunnis have fled their homes, BBC said in a separate report. One Turkmen who joined the oppositions against the Assad regime told BBC that they also fight the ISIS. “Right now we have two major enemies – the Syrian regime and Daesh [ISIS]. We are helping the Nusra Front and they are helping us. They are not like IS,” the man told BBC.
If the fighting continues, more than 15,000 people will be displaced. Most of the displaced were seeking refuge to Turkey. The Syrian refugee population in Ankara now exceeded two million, BBC reported. One refugee told BBC that they too do not understand the war anymore. “We don’t know who is fighting who anymore and for what. We’ve had enough and we just want them to stop bombing us so we can go back home to our villages,” she said.
There are conflicting claims from all parties conducting airstrikes in Syria. The U.S.-led coalition said their airstrikes were aimed against ISIS alone, though it has trained and equipped oppositions fighting against the Assad regime. Russia said it is targeting ISIS and all perceived terrorists by Mr. Assad, including the U.S.-backed oppositions. The situation got tense when Turkey downed a Russian bomber on Nov. 24. Analysts had since been saying that a proxy WW3 had already started in Syria.