Russia rejects no-fly zone: air strikes begin in Syria

Megan Fischer

Despite statements saying they will not enter the conflict, Russia has sent “volunteer” soldiers to participate in Syria’s civil war, according to Bloomberg Business.

Russia has joined the fighting in Syria, mainly from the air, and is said to be helping President Bashar al-Assad, the current Syrian president. Russia began its air campaign last week in order to bomb the Islamic State and other jihadist groups in Syria, according to Bloomberg Business.

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“A political settlement is the ultimate goal of all Russia’s actions,” stated Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. 

The Syrian civil war began in 2011 and has lasted about four years.

The New York Times reported that there are longstanding differences between Russia and the United States regarding President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and his opponents. The difference in opinion escalated with the recent Russian involvement in the war.

(Photo courtesy of Flickr).
(Photo courtesy of Flickr).

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military intervention overshadowed recent attempts to seek a solution to the four-year civil war, according to the New York Times. While NATO is pressuring the government in Moscow to coordinate efforts in attacking the Islamic State, Russian politicians are rejecting any notion of protracted involvement in Syria.

The U.S. is questioning Russia’s intentions, according to CNN.

Russia claims to be conducting military operations to wipe out ISIS, but U.S. officials are questioning that aim, given that many of the airstrikes have not targeted places where the terror group is active, according to CNN.

The number of immigrants from Syria is only going to increase, according to BBC. Many of the displaced population is going to Turkey; as many as three million more refugees are expected.

Russia began its airstrikes in Syria Sept. 30, according to BBC, and was said to be targeting the Islamic State at the request of President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

The West, however, says Russia is also hitting non-Islamic State rebels. There have been reports that a number of Syrian civilians have been killed in the Russian strikes.

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Collegian International Reporter Megan Fischer can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @MegFischer04.