Russia carries out first strikes in Syria

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Credit to “DVIDSHUB ” (Flickr)

Russia is said to have carried out its first air strikes in Syria, against opponents of President Bashar al Assad, in the city of Homs. The Pentagon was informed before the strikes took place, according to Russian news sources.

The Russian Parliament had recently given President Vladimir Putin permission to use military force, allowing air strikes on extremist groups such as the Islamic State and other rebels deemed a threat by the Russian state.

Kremlin official Sergey Ivanov claims that parliament voted in favour of these strikes following a request for military aid from Damascus. As Russia is one of the few global supporters of President Assad, it is currently unclear who these airstrikes were targeting.

Putin had said that Russia would consider launching strikes against the Islamic State, and has also called for a “broad anti-terror coalition” to combat extremism in the region.

His chief of staff had previously claimed that US and French airstrikes on ISIS violated international law, as they have not been approved by either a UN resolution or the Syrian government.

Russia has been slowly building its military presence in the war torn country, where it currently has 32 warplanes stationed near the Syrian port of Lattakia, with 1,700 Russian troops guarding them.

Western nations and Russia have been opposed over the civil war, which has claimed over 250,000 lives and caused a spiralling refugee crisis, since its very beginnings. However, global leaders are hopeful that they can find common ground combating extremism in Syria and work to end the conflict from there.

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