quarta-feira, 7 de outubro de 2015

Just two of 57 Russian airstrikes in Syria have hit Isil, says Turkey


Russia's Sukhoi Su-30 fighter aircraft at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria, October 5, 2015
Why is Russia bombing Syria?

Russia says the strikes are to defeat Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil). But most of their first strikes have been against non-Isil groups who are opposed to President Assad’s regime.

Why would Russia bomb non-Isil groups?
Russia’s spokesmen are sometimes vague - referring to Isil and terrorists in the same breath. By “terrorists” they mean the same as President Bashar al-Assad - anyone part of the armed opposition. And it so happens that the gravest threat to the regime’s core areas comes from non-Isil rebels.

What is Russia’s position on President Assad?
President Putin says he believes the survival of the Assad regime is very important. This is why it make sense for Russia to target non-Isil groups, who pose the greatest threat to the Syrian regime, first.

Are the non-Isil groups being bombed terrorists?
They cover a spectrum of opposition groups: from an alliance called Jaish al-Fatah - Army of Conquest - to "moderate” brigades backed and even, according to one account, trained, by the US. Jaish al-Fatah is made up of hardline groups that include Jabhat al-Nusra, which is aligned to al-Qaeda, so they are formally designated by the West and the United Nations as terrorist.

What will happen next?
All eyes are watching to see whether these bombing raids are followed up by a ground offensive.
(Fragment of the entire article)

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