News / Europe

    US: 30 Percent of Russian Airstrikes Target Islamic State

    FILE - A video grab made on September 30, 2015, shows an image taken footage made available on the Russian Defense Ministry's official website, purporting to show an airstrike in Syria.
    FILE - A video grab made on September 30, 2015, shows an image taken footage made available on the Russian Defense Ministry's official website, purporting to show an airstrike in Syria.
    VOA News

    A U.S. official added to the criticism of Russia's military campaign in Syria, saying Wednesday only 30 percent of Russian airstrikes have targeted Islamic State militants.

    Western nations have accused Russia of focusing its strikes on Syrian opposition fighters in support of its ally, President Bashar al-Assad, a charge Russian officials have denied.

    U.S. envoy Brett McGurk, who met with U.S. and Iraqi military leaders in Baghdad Wednesday, said the other 70 percent of Russia's airstrikes in Syria have hit opposition groups.

    More focused attacks

    The Pentagon noted last month that Russian airstrikes had appeared more focused on Islamic State targets, after definitively linking the extremist group to the bombing of a Russian jetliner in late October.

    FILE - A general view shows damaged trucks after what activists said were airstrikes carried out by the Russian air force, on a parking garage for cargo trucks in al-Dana town, near the Syrian-Turkish border in Idlib Governorate, Nov. 28, 2015.
    FILE - A general view shows damaged trucks after what activists said were airstrikes carried out by the Russian air force, on a parking garage for cargo trucks in al-Dana town, near the Syrian-Turkish border in Idlib Governorate, Nov. 28, 2015.

    Meanwhile, Russia said Tuesday for the first time it used missiles fired from a submarine in the Mediterranean to strike Islamic State targets in northern Syria.

    In a televised meeting, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin that cruise missiles targeted two positions near the extremist-controlled Syrian city of Raqqa.

    "We can say with complete confidence that fairly serious damage was done to weapons stores and a factory for preparing [land] mines," Shoigu said, adding that oil infrastructure near the Turkish border was damaged as well.

    IS targets

    Shoigu said more than 600 suspected IS targets have been struck by Russian warplanes in the past three days.

    He also reported that Russian bombers were under fighter jet escort, as Putin ordered earlier this month following Turkey's November 24 shootdown of a Russian bomber that allegedly veered into Turkish airspace.

    Tuesday's televised meeting came as Russian media reported that Russian and Syrian special forces had cleared the last remaining wreckage of the SU-24 bomber near the Turkish border, including the jet's flight recorder.

    Putin is seen instructing Shoigu that investigators should only open the recorder in the presence of international experts, "to carefully document everything."

    The French news agency AFP reported that Putin has invited British experts to help analyze the black box of the downed jet.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: patrick from: Singapore
    December 09, 2015 12:46 PM
    If US intel is so good to know what the Russians bomb, how come so much oil keeps going North to Turkey for too long?? how difficult is it for mighty NATO to find oil fields, and to track long oil tanker convoys and shooting them in open desert terrain??

    by: Anonymous
    December 09, 2015 12:46 PM
    Russia is targeting ISIS and AQ, not just ISIS. AQ is the so-called "western backed moderate rebels". The Free Syrian Army, Army of Conquest, Nusra Front, Turkmen Brigades... all are AQ. ISIS and AQ are "both" targeted by Russia.


    by: Anonymous
    December 09, 2015 11:55 AM
    If assad can't be tried by a war crimes tribunal (because of paperwork). Mr Putin most certainly can. This is a war crime. All along assad has been committing crimes against a nation, Russia steps in and gives him a lending hand. The world should NOT back down from Russia on this issue. Help the Syrian people. What Russia is doing is not helping. It is time the world holds assad responsible for any of his crimes, and put a warrant out for anyone who helps him (Putin?). If assad is aided by foreign countries to implement his crimes, he should be able to be tried in the international criminal court.

    by: dracaveli
    December 09, 2015 10:01 AM
    I don't know why America is still continuing this, rebels have shot and killed a Russian soldier all bets are off

    by: Anonymous
    December 09, 2015 9:39 AM
    30%.!!. That's wonderful. They ought to triple the strikes to hit them at full volume I suppose. But that other 70% is also helping. If as the US says, they are hitting forces opposed to Assad then they are targeting other Sunni Terrorists, which is very good. As long as Hezbollah continues to be destroyed, allong with Assad, it is the best of all possible worlds for the West in Syria. If they can continue to keep the Jihad fighters coming from Europe and the US then it will serve the most purpose, drawing to their death many potential Jihadis already infiltrated, some sleepers from birth as in the San Bernadino attack.

    by: Igor from: Russia
    December 09, 2015 9:17 AM
    How many US led coalition air strikes have hit the ISIS so far? The number must have been too small to count. You can guest the result from the very poor result of US and its allies's: After more than a year of air strikes in Syria, the ISIS has gained more and more ground in Syria as well as Iraq. The US is also sharing secret information to Turkey - the ISIS supporting state. Irony enough!
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    December 09, 2015 11:02 AM
    Hey Igor _ Whatever few terrorists the US and it's coalition forces kills in Syria with their bombing attacks (it's helping) the Assad Syrians and Russia too, because that's one or more less of the terrorists the Russians and Syrians won't have to kill, isn't that true? .. By default the US and it's coalition forces are helping Assad in Syria, (without realizing it), by killing any terrorist by accident or on purpose, because that's one or more terrorists the Assad Syrians won't have to kill in defense of their country, isn't it? .. think about it?

    by: baba Voenga from: underground
    December 09, 2015 8:17 AM
    Russian airstrikes have targeted Islamic State militants and other extremist militants. Russia need no permission & approval of extraneous accountants, especially of U.S. officials.

    by: William King from: Australia
    December 09, 2015 7:14 AM
    "U.S. envoy Brett McGurk, who met with U.S. and Iraqi military leaders in Baghdad Wednesday, said the other 70 percent of Russia's airstrikes in Syria have hit opposition groups."
    This may sound ridiculous, but does the esteemed envoy realise that the "other 70%" includes Al Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of Al Queda. Remember them, they flew two aircraft into the Twin Towers in 2001!
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    December 09, 2015 9:04 AM
    Hey William _ Since the US and their allies couldn't defeat any of terrorist groups anywhere in the world, they came together and decided to concentrate all their resources on defeating just one terrorist group now? .. And since the ISIL terrorist army is expanding everywhere in the world and growing more powerful, the US and it's allies are concentrating all their resources (bombs) on them, while the Russians are (bombing) all the terrorists, (including the foreign ones the US armed and equipped), because they are mostly foreign Sunni Muslim terrorists from the Russian Federation and their allied countries, that are returning home now with the knowhow and knowledge that the US taught them, to wage Jihad war on the Russians? .. Think about it? .. and al-Qaeda is the enemy of the ISIL army, isn't it?

    by: Badforu from: Ohio
    December 09, 2015 7:03 AM
    100 % of the attacks are on muslim extremists!

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