Tuesday, August 16, 2016

One of these reports can't be right

Reuters --

Russia and the United States are close to starting joint military action against militants in Syria's Aleppo, Russian news agencies on Monday quoted Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying.

Reuters --

Russia used Iran as a base from which to launch air strikes against Syrian militants for the first time on Tuesday, widening its air campaign in Syria and deepening its involvement in the Middle East. In a move underscoring Moscow's increasingly close ties with Tehran, long-range Russian Tupolev-22M3 bombers and Sukhoi-34 fighter bombers used Iran's Hamadan air base to strike a range of targets in Syria. It was the first time Russia has used the territory of another nation, apart from Syria itself, to launch such strikes since the Kremlin launched a bombing campaign to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in September last year. It was also thought to be the first time that Iran has allowed a foreign power to use its territory for military operations since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Reports from the ground in Syria say that what appeared to be these intensified air strikes caused many civilian casualties. The Russian news release about the attack doesn't even bother noting Jabhat al-Nusra's new name (Fatah al-Sham). It's simply a joint Russian-Iranian operation to bomb "bad guys" from high altitude.

Good luck, John Kerry, with that partnership.

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