Unlike the U.S., Russia doesn't split hairs in terms of sorting out "favorable" or "moderate" terrorists to "unfavorable terrorists", but considers all terrorist groups to be a threat to them and to Syria. The U.S. is perplexed that Russia is launching attacks against the terrorists that the U.S. favors and funds. America was under the impression that Russia would only target ISIS but not other terrorist groups in the region (who threaten the Syrian government), but obviously Russia sees no point in such distinctions.
Russian warplanes began bombarding Syrian opposition targets in the war-torn nation's north Wednesday, following a terse meeting at which a Russian general asked Pentagon officials to clear out of Syrian air space and was rebuffed, Fox News has learned.
Russia and the United States faced off at the United Nations on Wednesday over parallel air campaigns against Islamic State in Syria, with both sides claiming legitimacy for their actions but differing over the role of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Hours after Russian launched its first air strikes, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a Security Council meeting that Moscow would liaise with the U.S.-led coalition of Western allies and regional states that has been flying missions for a year.
The United States, France and other allies questioned whether the Russian planes had hit Islamic State positions, as Moscow said, saying they were in fact aimed at Western-backed rebels who have fought both Islamic State and Assad's forces.
U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said Russia had informed the United States of its intended strikes an hour in advance through a diplomat in Baghdad and asked that U.S. aircraft avoid Syrian airspace.
The Homs area attacked by Russian planes is crucial to Assad's control of western Syria. Insurgent control of that area would bisect the Assad-held west, separating Damascus from coastal cities where Russia has military facilities.
Meanwhile, six advanced Russian SU-34 strike fighter jets landed at Latakia’s Al-Assad international airport, after flying to their destination through Iraqi airspace.
The Russian military buildup is assuming far greater proportions than either imagined, far outpacing US or Israeli efforts at coordination.