Russia Launches First Airstrike in Syria; Tells USA to Get Their Warplanes Out of Syrian Airspace

Russia has conducted its first airstrike in Syria near the city of Homs, a senior U.S. official tells CNN.

Russia initiated airstrikes in Syria against opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.The airstrikes reportedly hit rebel-controlled areas of Homs and Hama provinces, causing casualties, but US officials do not believe Russia is targeting IS-held territory.

The United States was informed an hour before the airstrikes occurred — reporting to the US that they were targeting ISIS.

Last week President Barack Obama stated in an interview that US intelligence agencies “underestimated” the presence and activity of IS militants in Syria.

“Over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the Syrian civil war, where essentially you have huge swaths of the country that are completely ungoverned, they were able to reconstitute themselves and take advantage of that chaos,” Obama said in an interview made on Friday but aired on Sunday.

“And so this became ground zero for jihadists around the world,”

— President Barack Obama

Obama admitted that the Iraqi army’s capabilities in defending against IS militants were overestimated.

Last week, US-led airstrikes against IS, which began in August in Iraq, moved to Syria. The Obama administration boasts a coalition of about 60 members against the terrorists, including Arab partners and Denmark, France and the UK.

Russia says it launched air strikes against Islamic State in Syria on Wednesday after President Vladimir Putin secured his parliament’s unanimous backing to intervene to prop up the Kremlin’s closest Middle East ally. Amateur video purportedly shot in the city of Homs shows military jets flying overhead and buildings reduced to rubble (Rough Cut).

SEP 10 2015 — CNN: Could coalitions soon be fighting Russia in Syria? Retired General John Allen, Presidential Envoy in the global fight against ISIS, says U.S. officials are monitoring Russian troops in Syria, and says it could happen.

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