Friday, October 2, 2015

Russia Strikes IS Stronghold In Syria As West Fears Escalation, Pentagon Weighs Using Force To Protect U.S. Backed 'Syrian Rebels'

Russia strikes IS stronghold in Syria as West fears escalation | The Times of Israel

Russia said Friday it had bombed the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa for the first time as President Vladimir Putin faced mounting criticism from Western and Gulf leaders over his military campaign in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Moscow countered that it had hit “an IS training camp” and a command post in air strikes on Thursday near the jihadist bastion as the US-led coalition urged Russia to stop attacking Syrian opposition forces, saying it risked escalating the four-year civil war.

“These military actions constitute a further escalation and will only fuel more extremism and radicalization,” seven countries including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United States said in a statement.

“We call on the Russian Federation to immediately cease its attacks on the Syrian opposition and civilians,” it added.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that Moscow had targeted IS, the al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front and “other terrorist groups.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry said its latest air strikes had put an “IS command point out of action. The infrastructure used to train terrorists was completely destroyed,” the ministry said.

Putin held talks in Paris on Friday with the leaders of France and Germany, the first time he has met Western leaders since Russia began its dramatic intervention in the Syrian conflict.

Western nations including France say they are prepared to discuss a political solution with elements of the Syrian regime, but insist Assad must leave power. Putin, on the other hand, says Assad — Russia’s long-term ally — should stay.

Ahead of the talks, a Putin ally and senior lawmaker said the campaign of Russian air strikes will last for three to four months and will increase in intensity.

Pushkov said more than 2,500 air strikes by the US-led coalition in Syria had failed to inflict significant damage on IS, but Russia’s campaign would be more intensive.

“I think it’s the intensity that is important. The US-led coalition has pretended to bomb Daesh (an Arabic acronym for Islamic State) for a year, without results.

With the danger growing that Russian and US planes could collide or even engage militarily in the skies above Syria, the Pentagon and Russian officials held what the Americans said were “cordial and professional” discussions on Thursday in a bid to avoid mishaps.

Senior U.S. military leaders and defense officials are debating whether military force should be used to protect Washington-backed Syrian rebels who have come under attack by Russian airstrikes in recent days.
The Associated Press reported early Friday that the question was part of a broader debate within the Pentagon about the the broader dilemma of how the administration should respond to what White House press secretary Josh Earnest described as Russia's "indiscriminate military operations against the Syrian opposition."
 Tensions between the U.S. and Russia are escalating over Russian airstrikes that are serving to strengthen Syrian President Bashar Assad by targeting the so-called "moderate" rebels rather than hitting Islamic State (ISIS) fighters it promised to attack.
Meanwhile, a joint statement by the United States, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Britain expressed concern over Russia's military actions, saying they will "only fuel more extremism and radicalization." The text of the statement was released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Friday, and confirmed by the French Foreign Ministry.
A key concern is the prospect of the U.S. and Russia getting drawn into a shooting war in the event that Russian warplanes hit moderate Syrian rebels who have been trained and equipped by the U.S. military.
At U.N. headquarters in New York, Secretary of State John Kerry said: "What is important is Russia has to not be engaged in any activities against anybody but ISIL. That's clear. We have made that very clear."
At worst, if Russia bombs rebels trained by the U.S. and American fighter jets intercede to protect the Syrians, the exchange could trigger an all-out confrontation with Russia -- a potential disaster the administration would like to avoid.

Fueling the concerns is the fact that Russia has aircraft in Syria with air-to-air combat capacity, even though ISIS has no air force and the only aircraft in the skies belong to U.S.-led coalition or the Syrian government.

Russia's defense ministry said that over the past 24 hours it had damaged or destroyed 12 targets in Syria belonging to the ISIS fighters, including a command center and ammunition depots. A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, Col. Steve Warren, said he had no indication that the Russians had hit Islamic State targets.

1 comment:

Caver said...

Joining in the expectation and anticipation the current events forecast. Not to mention the absolute astonishment of precise Scripture fulfillment.

WV /All, dead on! Its simply amazing and just leaves one slack jawed, wide eyed, and gawking.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the first time in decades that Russia, much less China, has projected military force completely outside their immediate sphere of influence/security. It's gut wrenching to see all the suffering, dislocation, butchery, and pain inflicted on the population and fellow Brothers/Sisters especially. It just sends you to your knees in prayer while filling with inspiration at the precise truth and hundred percent accuracy of prophecy. At least it does for me..

Only the One true God could tell the end from the beginning. Only the Blood of the Perfect Sacrifice could cover all our sins.

Perhaps soon Church. Perhaps very soon.