Russian air strikes hit CIA trained rebel camp in Syria

Russian air strike campaign targeting Syrian rebels hits CIA trained rebel camp

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Russian Air Force Su-34 fighter-bombers

Updated Oct 2, 2015

Air strikes conducted by Russia targeted rebel held areas on Wednesday in Syria also bombed camps run by rebels trained by the CIA, according to the groups’ commander. The bombing was the first incident since the Cold War, which could have the potential to bring both super powers face to face. 

Chairman of the US Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain said on Thursday that Russia hit CIA-backed rebels instead of ISIS in Syria.

"I can absolutely confirm to you that they were strikes against our Free Syrian Army recruits that have been armed and trained by the CIA because we have communications with people there," McCain said.

While both Russia and the US are claiming to fight against ISIS in Syria, however, they don't collaborate mutual air strikes against the "terror organisation."

According to a news agency report, citing a Russian foreign minister official, Russia has no intention to join the US-led coalition air strikes targeting ISIS sites in Syria.

Following the incidents, a US defence official aid that both the US and Russian military will hold a secure online conference to find ways to keep both militaries apart as they both started parallel military campaigns against ISIS in Syria.

Russian fighter jets began bombing opposition forces in Syria on Wednesday, just hours after lawmakers in the upper house of parliament in Moscow unanimously approved military action in Syria.

Although Russia claims its air strikes are being targeted against the ISIS militant group, the US has raised concerns that Wednesday’s air strikes in the cities of Homs and Hama were aimed at moderate opposition groups fighting against Bashar al Assad’s regime.

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said that the air strikes took place where ISIS forces weren't present and warned that a Russian intervention would only "backfire" and would be like “pouring gasoline on fire.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry also said that there would be a “grave concern” in Washington if it's discovered that the Russian air strikes were not targeting ISIS or the Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front.

Iran is sending more troops to Syria

According to two Lebanese sources talking to Reuters, hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria in the last ten days and will join the regime forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies in a major ground offensive backed by Russian airstrikes.

"The (Russian) air strikes will in the near future be accompanied by ground advances by the Syrian army and its allies," said one of the sources

The sources also said "It is possible that the coming land operations will be focused in the Idlib and Hama countryside," 

Sources are pointing that the aim of the attacks of the alliance of Assad-Russia, Iran and Hezbollah-  to gain back the territories held by rebels against Assad regime.

"The vanguard of Iranian ground forces began arriving in Syria: soldiers and officers specifically to participate in this battle. They are not advisors ... we mean hundreds with equipment and weapons. They will be followed by more,"  the source said

Iraqis would also take part in the operation, the source also said.

TRTWorld and agencies