Rus­sia de­fends Syr­ian air strikes

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov has de­fended his coun­try’s air strikes in Syria, say­ing they were tar­get­ing the same “ter­ror­ist” groups as the US-led coali­tion. He re­jected sug­ges­tions that Rus­sian ac­tion was to bol­ster Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad.

Rus­sian jets car­ried out a sec­ond day of air strikes in Syria on Thurs­day.

But a US of­fi­cial said Rus­sia had been iso­lated by its “in­dis­crim­i­nate” strikes against the Syr­ian op­po­si­tion.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that if Rus­sia was gen­uinely fo­cused on fight­ing Is­lamic State (IS) it would con­trib­ute to the US-led coali­tion.

The strikes risk draw­ing Rus­sia more deeply into the con­flict, he added.

Mean­while, hun­dreds of Ira­nian troops have ar­rived in Syria in the last 10 days and will soon join gov­ern­ment forces and their Le­banese Hezbol­lah al­lies in a ma­jor ground of­fen­sive backed by Rus­sian air strikes, two Le­banese sources told Reuters.

“The (Rus­sian) air strikes will in the near fu­ture be ac­com­pa­nied by ground ad­vances by the Syr­ian army and its al­lies,” said one of the sources fa­mil­iar with po­lit­i­cal and mil­i­tary de­vel­op­ments in the con­flict.

“It is pos­si­ble that the com­ing land oper­a­tions will be fo­cused in the Idlib and Hama coun­try­side,” the source added.

The two sources said the op­er­a­tion would be aimed at re­cap­tur­ing ter­ri­tory lost by Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad’s gov­ern­ment to rebels

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.