Russia strikes ISIS positions in Syria

Russia is continuing to aid the fight against ISIS in Syria, carrying out numerous strikes on March 31 targeting the extremist group in the country, Asharq Al-Awsat and agencies reported.

Although Daesh’s caliphate was brought to an emphatic end in 2019 by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the group still enjoys prominence in various parts of Syria, notably the northwestern province of Idlib. 

Russian jets launched over 30 strikes in Al-Rasafah (just outside of the northern city of Raqqa), the Palmyra desert, Al-Sukhna in Homs’ eastern countryside, and the desert in Jabal al-Bishri which is situated in Deir Ezzor. Regional sources did not report any casualties. 

Russia, Assad’s strongest ally, has been intervening militarily in the war-torn country since 2015, battling opposition forces to the Syrian regime in addition to the notorious Islamist group.  

The ongoing civil war of course, erupted in 2011 due to the Syrian President’s brutal crackdown of pro-democracy protests, forcing millions of citizens to flee to neighbouring countries and/or Europe as well as causing the deaths of between 500,000 and 600,000 people. 

READ: Syria: ISIS executes 8 Syrian regime soldiers

The recent targeting of ISIS by Moscow comes just days after the terrorist group killed 8 Syrian regime soldiers as well as the deadly rampage at the Crocus City Hall (situated in the outskirts of the Russian capital). 

Vladimir Putin said that Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) and Ukraine were responsible for the attack. 

The President and media in the country were subjected to western condemnation for claiming that Ukraine played a part in the massacre as US officials stressed that the atrocities on March 22 had no relevance to the ongoing war between the two countries. 

In a fresh security threat to Putin’s government, ISIS recently posted a video on fringe social media site Telegram announcing their intentions to kill Russians as well as kidnapping women and children in the country. 


Asharq Al-Awsat

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