Russia bombs 10 new IS targets in Syria
4 October 2015, Nirapad News: Russia on Sunday said it had bombed ten new Islamic State group targets as it prepared to ramp up its bombing campaign in Syria.
“From the airbase of Hmeimim, the Russian aviation group is continuing to ramp up air strikes using high-precision missiles against the ISIS facilities in Syria,” the defence ministry said.
“Over the past 24 hours SU-34, SU-24M and SU-25 jets made 20 sorties,” the defence ministry said, reeling off the latest list of targets.
“Ten infrastructure targets of ISIS bandit groups have been struck,” it said, using another name for IS, which is also known as ISIL or Daesh.
Russian bombing raids against what Moscow says are Islamic State targets went into their fifth day despite criticism from Washington and its allies that the military action may be strengthening the jihadists.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that Moscow’s bombing campaign in Syria is “unacceptable”, warning that Russia is making a “grave mistake”.
“The steps Russia is taking and the bombing campaign in Syria is unacceptable in any way… Unfortunately, Russia is making a grave mistake,” Erdogan told a news conference at Istanbul airport before leaving for a visit to France.
But Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in comments broadcast on Sunday that the success of Russia’s military intervention in his country’s civil war was vital for the whole Middle East.
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said that Russia’s Western partners had failed to explain the term “moderate opposition” as monitors claimed that Russian jets had bombed two Syrian villages, killing one person.
Putin, who met the leaders of France and Germany in Paris on Friday, had “expressed a lively interest in the subject and asked what the difference between the moderate opposition and the immoderate opposition is,” Dmitry Peskov said on television late Saturday.
“So far, no one really has managed to explain what the moderate opposition is.”
The ministry said on Sunday that SU-25 jets attacked a training camp in Idlib province and “destroyed the terrorists’ hideouts and a workshop making makeshift explosive devices including ‘suicide belts’,” the ministry said.
SU-24M and SU-34 bombers also hit eight IS facilities in the area of Jisr al-Shughur in Idlib province.
The defence ministry said the warplanes had once again deployed powerful concrete-buster munitions against IS targets.
“Four command posts of ISIS armed groups have been destroyed with the help of concrete-piercing BETAB-500 bombs,” said the defence ministry.
A command post and ammunition depot were also bombed near the town of Maaret al-Numan in Idlib province.
And SU-34 bombers attacked an IS training camp and ammunition depot in Raqa province, dropping guided bombs and destroying the camp, the ministry said.
The base of Hmeimim is situated in Latakia province on the Mediterranean coast.
Assad, speaking in an interview broadcast by Iranian state television, said: “The alliance between Russia, Syria, Iraq and Iran must succeed or else the whole region will be destroyed.”
“The chances of success for this coalition are great and not insignificant,” Assad said in his interview, according to an extract posted on Twitter, warning that the price Syria’s allies pay “will certainly be high”.
He called on Western countries, which have along with Gulf allies carried out air strikes on IS in Syria since September 2014, to join forces in order to fight extremism.
Washington accuses Russia of seeking to buttress Assad, blamed for unleashing a conflict that has killed more than 240,000 people over the past four years and making little distinction between Western-backed moderate opposition and IS fighters.
But Moscow is keen to turn the tables on Washington, suggesting it is Washington and its allies that often hit the wrong targets.
An apparent US air strike on an Afghan hospital that killed 19 people on Saturday is also expected to play into the Kremlin’s hands.
US President Barack Obama called Russia’s intervention a “recipe for disaster” but pledged Washington would not be drawn into a proxy war.
– ‘Many strikes on Homs’ –
On Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that “warplanes, believed to be Russian, carried out many strikes against two villages in the north of Homs province.”
One person was killed and others injured, it said.
The areas hit by the strikes, are largely controlled by rebels, the Al-Nusra Front and other Islamist groups, the observatory said.
Another four suspected Russian strikes hit the IS-held town of Al-Qaryatain, in Homs province, said the group.
But raids ordered by Moscow have also hit areas controlled by moderate groups and even prompted a claim by US Senator John McCain that Russian jets had killed rebel soldiers trained and funded by the CIA.