Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Wednesday said only two Russian air strikes in Syria had targeted Islamic State militants and warned that Ankara would not make any concessions on the security of its borders.
In televised comments Davutoglu said only two out of 57 Russian bombardments had targeted IS fighters while the others had targeted moderate rebels backed by Turkey and the United States, claiming that the figures were based on military intelligence Ankara had received.
US State Department spokesman John Kirby said that more than 90% of Russian airstrikes inside Syria have hit opposition forces and not ISIS.
“They’ve been largely against opposition groups that want a better future for Syria and don’t want to see the [Bashar] Assad regime stay in power,” said during a press briefing on Wednesday.
Kirby noted that Russia’s current actions in Syria are “largely reactive” to international pressure against Assad.
“I wouldn’t call what they’re doing a strategy,” Kirby said. “It’s a failing tactic to take because keeping him in power, even if it’s because you want to get to mutual consent, propping him up only prolongs the conflict,” he added.
At a press conference held on October 30th at the UN headquarters in New York in response to Russia’s airstrikes on Syria, President Khoja said that “it has become clear that Russia’s claims about intervening in Syria to combat ISIS is just a cover for its attempts to prolong the life of a regime that has lost legitimacy by committing heinous crimes against the Syrian people.”
“Despite using his cache of weapons, Assad cannot break the Syrian people’s will to regain freedom and dignity. Barely controlling 14% of Syrian territory, the Iranian occupation and sectarian militias have failed to salvage the Assad regime. Likewise, the Russian occupation will fail and will only suffer losses,” Khoja added. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)