Reuters has reported that Russia is stepping up its airstrikes in Syria against the Islamic State. Russian jets have carried out more than 60 flights in Syria in three days. Russian Army General Staff Official Andrei Kartapolov explains.
“Our intelligence witnesses that the fighters are leaving the areas under their control. Panic and desertion has started in their ranks. About 600 mercenaries have left their positions and are trying to escape Europe.”
It has been asserted by the West that Russia is hitting rebel positions in addition to ISIS, but it is difficult to know for sure, as there is fluidity of movement between ISIS and the rebels. Even if Russia is attacking the rebels in addition to ISIS, Putin is taking a firm position against anarchy in Syria, as the situation was only making ISIS stronger, as opposed to making Assad weaker.
— ABC News (@abcnews) October 4, 2015
Russia Increases Intensity Of Syrian Air Strikes, ‘Devastates’ ISIS
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: President of Russia Vladimir Putin addresses the United Nations General Assembly on September 28, 2015 in New York City.
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters on September 28, 2015 in New York City.
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: Russian President Vladimir Putin sits before speaking at the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters on September 28, 2015 in New York City.
NEW YORK -- SEPTEMBER 28 : Ukrainian protestors rally against Russian President Vladimir Putin outside United Nations Headquarters on September 28.
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: President of Russia Vladimir Putin addresses the United Nations General Assembly on September 28, 2015 in New York City. World leaders gathered for the 70th session of the annual meeting. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Yahoo! News reports that a senior Russian military officer has said that Russia is continuing to step up the frequency and intensity of the attacks until ISIS is disintegrated from Syria. The assertive stance of Russia is worrying to the West, which has largely stood back and watched the crises unfold, as political difficulties, especially in the view that stabilizing Syria will only stabilize President Assad, who has been accused of killing tens of thousands of his own people. Michael Fallon, Britain’s defense minister, in particular has accused Russia of dropping “unguided munitions,” which can cause civilian casualties if they do not hit their intended targets.
Russia has fired back against the accusation. A senior Russian official interviewed by Yahoo! News clarifies.
“The strikes were carried out around the clock from the Hmeymim air base along the whole depth of the territory of Syria… over three days we were able to undermine the terrorists’ infrastructure and significantly reduce their military potential.”
What is clear is that taking sides is not just the domain of Russia. The handing over of sophisticated weapons to Syrian rebels has been going on for several years, and some of these munitions were channeled to ISIS. In short, intervention, in the past, has led to the destabilized situation in Syria which allowed ISIS to gain a footing in the Middle East and build its so-called “caliphate.”
In any case, it is clear the Russian operation is having a very direct effect on the Syrian war theater. In fact, Rohedge is reporting that ISIS is “on the ropes” after Russia stepped in to solve a problem the West was seeming to hand-wring about, as opposed to doing anything that would directly stop ISIS from making advances. Mass desertion is reported (up to 600 reported). Russia destroyed a command center used by ISIS to stage attacks around Syria, and obliterated “an ISIS hardened command centre near Raqqah.”
“As you can see, a direct hit on the installation resulted in the detonation of explosives and multiple fires. It was completely demolished.”
RT confirms the above report. In the last 24 hours, Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-24M fighter jets have been engaged in striking multiple ISIS installations with bunker-busting bombs, destroying underground weapons storage facilities which ISIS believed were safe from aerial bombings.
Contrary to the belief that rebel fighters have been engaged, no anti-aircraft weapons have engaged the Russian sorties, contrary to what one would expect from the anti-aircraft equipped rebels. A Russian official made this clear.
“No operable air-defense systems have been spotted in the Russian Air Force zone of action in Syria.”
— China.org.cn (@chinaorgcn) October 4, 2015
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A very recent report in the early hours of Sunday, October 4, 2015, also confirm that ISIS jihadis have been “obliterated” by Russian jets to the number of nine total ISIS outposts.
The effectiveness of the campaign has been so successful that a senior British military expert says that the West has been “outflanked” by Putin due to the entropy which has overwhelmed military planning, as millions of refugees from Syria and other areas affected by the fighting head to Germany for the generous policy of allowing all refugees fleeing the fighting.
The Russian strikes have mainly targeted central and northwestern Syria, which are seen as ISIS positions for carrying out an assault on Damascus.
Some believe that the West have supported ISIS in the past in their efforts to oust President Assad, but the refugee crisis has created so much chaos that such a move is doubtful to be seen as either a legitimate or effective strategy. With Russia now doing the heavy lifting in defeating ISIS, the West stands to benefit as conditions on the ground improve in Syria now that ISIS appears to be running scared from the Russian aerial bombardment.
[Images by John Moore, Andrew Renneisen, Spencer Platt, John Moore, Sean Gallup / Getty Images]