(CNN)Russia carried out new airstrikes inside Syria on Thursday, the country’s Defense Ministry said in a statement, a day after it changed the calculus of Mideast politics by entering the Syrian civil war on the side of President Bashar al-Assad.
“Russian Aerospace Forces engaged another four #ISIS facilities in #Syria this night,” the Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Twitter along with gun camera video showing large explosions.
The strikes were carried out by eight Russian SU-24 and SU-25 jets, which claimed to hit ISIS “terrorist staff” and an ammunition dump near Idlib and another headquarters in Hama.
But 24 hours into the military campaign, Russia’s aims started to come into clearer focus — that it is targeting those who oppose al-Assad, including more moderate factions that are supported by the United States and others in the west. MORE
WASHINGTON —The use of airstrikes has been authorized by President Obama in order to defend a U.S. trained force of Syrian rebels if it comes under attack from other military forces, including the Bashar Assad regime, U.S. officials said.
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that U.S. officials had made the decision after months of debating the role of the U.S. military in relation to its allies in theSyrian crisis. The officials had been careful about any such confrontation because of the risk of bringing the American military into conflict with Assad’s forces. MORE