Russian Aerospace Forces engaged four ISIS facilities in the night of October 1, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation has confirmed. Unnamed military sources from ground zero are saying that Iranian troops and Hezbollah forces have arrived in Syria to fight in support of the Assad regime under the guise of joining Russian moves against the ISIS.
With convoluted situation in Syria there are fears that U.S. and Russia could wind up having an actual war. Pentagon recognized the risk of such situation can happen.
The danger of miscalculations arises because U.S. is supporting Syrian oppositions fighting against President Bashir al-Assad. Russia is supporting Mr. al-Assad. Hence all oppositions against him are considered terrorist targets by Russia, including U.S.-backed rebels that are CIA trained.
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According to the official announcement from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Russia’s Su-24M and Su-25 aircraft performed 8 sorties, eliminating terrorist groupings and an ammunition depot near Idlib, as well as terrorist’s three-level HQ center near Hannah. The announcement highlighted that all the airstrikes conducted by Russian aviation are well-coordinated with the Command of the Syrian Army.
The announcement also stressed that Russian aviation conducting airstrikes are assigned only inhabited areas outside and only on the basis of reconnaissance data from multiple sources. Russia is also flying unmanned aerial vehicles and other space reconnaissance in order to assure targets.
More Iranian troops are said to be arriving in Syria to participate in ground combat to accompany Russian airstrikes, unnamed military sources on ground zero told Fox News. The sources also revealed that Lebanese Hezbollah forces are soon to arrive in Syria to fight on the ground.
Sources who have spoken with The Telegraph on condition of anonymity are also telling the same. According to them, Russia’s long-term aim is to abolish all rebel groups fighting the Assad regime. When this is achieved, the ISIS will become the only enemy on the grounds. In this scenario, U.S. will be compelled to work with Russia in defeating the ISIS.
On Thursday morning Pentagon and Russian defense officials held a confidential video conference to discuss the situation in Syria, specifically to avoid air miscalculations. According to Pentagon Press Secretary, Peter Cook, the call was an initial step, as agreed both by President Barack Obama and President Vladimir Putin.
“As you introduce other aircraft into the airspace, of course there’s the possibility for a miscalculation, for an accident. So we’re taking steps right now to try and prevent that from taking place, taking steps that can at least minimize the risk for the pilots flying right now,” Cook told press.
One proposal is to use particular international frequencies that can be used at a time of distress. Another proposal is to determine what language the aircraft would use when communicating.
Cook upheld the government’s statement yesterday that the Russians are not striking targets in areas that are controlled by the ISIS. “And that in and of itself is a concern for us. And we’ve noted that concern,” Cook said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Putin maintained that Russia’ moves in Syria is within the bounds of international law. “Other countries have been carrying out airstrikes on Syrian territory without a UN Security Council resolution or a corresponding request from the official Syrian authorities for over a year now. We have such a request and we intend to target terrorist organizations specifically,” Mr. Putin said in a statement.
With regards to media reports that civilians suffer from Russia’s airstrikes, “we are prepared for such information attacks,” the president said.
“I would like to draw you attention to the fact that the first reports about civilian casualties appeared before our craft were airborne,” Mr. Putin said.
“This does not mean, however, that we should not pay heed to such information. This is exactly why we are establishing contacts between our special services and those of the US and between the Defence Ministry and the Pentagon. This work is underway. I hope it will result in the creation of some permanent mechanism,” Mr. Putin further explained.