Nato to discuss Russia air campaign
8 October 2015, Nirapad News: Russia’s growing military involvement in the Syria conflict is expected to be high on the agenda as Nato defence ministers meet in Brussels.
It comes after Nato member Turkey complained that Russian jets had repeatedly violated its airspace, reports the BBC.
Ministers are also expected to review a range of measures introduced in the wake of the Ukraine crisis to make clear it will respond to any challenge.
Nato ministers are expected to express their solidarity with Turkey and also address increased concern among Baltic members following Russia’s involvement in eastern Ukraine.
Russia – an ally of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – began its air campaign a week ago, saying it was targeting Islamic State (IS) and other militant groups.
It has denied claims that its strikes have mainly hit non-IS targets.
On Wednesday, Russia said it had launched missile strikes against IS from warships in the Caspian Sea – about 1,500km (930 miles) away.
Russia’s foreign ministry also said Moscow was willing to establish contact with the Free Syrian Army – a Western-backed rebel group – to discuss fighting IS “and other terrorist groups”.
But US Defence Secretary Ash Carter – who will attend Thursday’s Nato meeting – said coalition forces fighting IS in Syria would not co-operate with Russia.
“We believe Russia has the wrong strategy,” he said. “They continue to hit targets that are not IS.”