Russia claims to have destroyed several training camps and command posts of the Islamic State. However, the United States and its allies argue that Russian airstrikes have mostly targeted the U.S.-backed rebels that are fighting to throw President Bashar Al-Assad out of power. The RIA news agency revealed Sunday that Russia was using smart, laser-guided KH-29L air-to-surface missiles in Syria.
Anti-Assad rebels seek anti-aircraft missiles from the U.S.
Russian air force spokesman Colonel Igor Klimov said the high-precision missiles were being used by Sukhoi-24 and Sukhoi-34 fighter aircraft. Russia said on Saturday that it would intensify airstrikes in Syria, a move that may escalate tensions between Washington and Moscow. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Russian airstrikes have killed at least 39 civilians, though the group admitted that 14 ISIS fighters have also been killed.
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According to RT News, Russian forces are also using KAB-250 and KAB-500 guided bombs in surgical strikes in Syria. Continued airstrikes suggest that Russia’s primary focus remains the Anti-Assad rebels in western and northern Syria. Consequently, the CIA-trained rebels have asked Obama administration to supply anti-aircraft missiles to defend their positions and command posts against Russian airstrikes.
U.S. asks Russia to stop targeting CIA-trained rebels
The U.S. and its allies have urged Russia to stop targeting the CIA-trained rebels, and focus its efforts on fighting the Islamic State. American officials said there was no immediate plan to supply additional weapons to rebels that have been armed and trained by CIA under a covert program to weaken President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime. Assad has close ties with Russia.
Meanwhile, Russia said over the weekend that it may use its Black Sea Fleet in Syria to blockade the Syrian coastline and deliver artillery strikes. Russia’s decision to send military support to Assad has pushed the U.S. and its allies on the backfoot. U.S. was hoping to oust Assad by supporting rebels.