The United States of America are opposed to Bashar al-Assad's regime as well as the ISIS and other extremist groups, and are backing the more moderate rebel forces in Syria. The US has been conducting airstrikes and training rebels.
Russia not attacking ISIS positions?
- Three news channels, Al-Mayadeen, Orient News and the Lebanese news channel reported that Russian airstrikes were against an insurgent alliance - the Jaish al-Fatah, which includes al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front, but not the ISIS.
- The Jaish al-Fatah commands regional support from countries opposed to the Assad regime and ISIS,.
- It had made rapid gains in North-West Syria since May 2015.
Russian airstrikes hit CIA-trained rebel camp
- Hassan Haj Ali, head of the Liwa Suqour al-Jabal, a CIA-trained rebel group told Reuters that Russian airstrikes had hit a rebel training camp in the Idlib province.
- The anti-Assad rebel group's fighters had attended several CIA training sessions in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
- Haj Ali, a defected Syrian army captain, said "Russia is challenging everyone and saying there is no alternative to Bashar".
Russia will not join US-led coalition
The RIA news agency reported that Russia would not join the US-led coalition against ISIS. This is first time that the USA and Russia have engaged in air combat over the same country since World War II.
US questions Russia's motives
- Russia's airstrikes on Syria have opened up a wave of controversy.
- The US Secretary of State, John Kerry said that US were "prepared to welcome" Russian-action against ISIS, but "would have grave concerns should Russia strike areas where ISIL and al-Qaeda affiliated targets are not operating".
- "Strikes of that kind would question Russia's real intentions fighting ISIL or protecting the Assad regime", Kerry added.
Russia backs President Bashar al-Assad who has been Russia's only persistent ally in the Middle East over the last few decades. They claim to oppose the ISIS which has been joined by several thousand young Russians fanatics recently.
Russia denies US allegations
- Russia denied the allegations levelled at them by the US, describing the allegations as a "war of disinformation".
- The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that Russian warplanes had attacked and destroyed eight positions belonging to the Islamic State and the Nusra Front, the al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate.
- Russian Ambassador to France, Alexander Orlov said that the US had been informed of the targets "via confidential channels".