Official: Russia Conducts First Airstrike in Syria
Russia has conducted its first airstrike in Syria on Wednesday, a senior U.S. official told CNN.
He also noted that Russia told the United States that they shouldn’t fly warplanes in Syria, but refused to specify a location where they would occur.
“The Federation Council unanimously supported the President’s request — 162 votes in favor of granting permission,” Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergey Ivanov said, according to ITAR-Tass.
Russia decided to intervene after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad asked for military assistance in fighting ISIS.
After several days of familiarization flights, and the collection of potential targeting information by drones, the Russian air force was known to be ready.
Four Russian Su-34 Fullback fighter jets are now at the Latakia air base in Syria, and more than 600 Russian troops are in place.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told reporters Tuesday that Secretary of Defense Ash Carter directed his staff to “open lines of communication with Russia on de-confliction.”
The timing of these discussions is to be worked out in the coming days. The purpose of the discussions is “to ensure the safety of coalition air crews,” he said.
Cook added that the two nations have common ground when it comes to fighting ISIS, also known as ISIL, with Carter making clear that “the goal should be to take the fight to ISIL and not to defend the Assad regime.”
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