The Russians strikes over Syria continue into their third day as Russia's lower house in parliament says the military air campaign could go on for two to three months. Mana Rabiee reports.
Russian air strikes over Syria continue into their third day. Moscow says its warplanes flew 18 sorties over western and northern Syria, targeting, amongst other things, an insurgent command post and a communications center in Aleppo province. Russia says it's targeting Islamic State in the strikes but the areas it describes are where IS is largely absent - western officials say. Amateur videos posted online claim to show the latest aftermath of the strikes over Idlib and Hama, areas held mainly by rival insurgent groups other than Islamic State. The U.S., which is leading its own air campaign against IS, says Russia's hitting at other opposition groups in an effort to prop up its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Meanwhile, a Syrian opposition group based in Turkey accuses Russia of of killing dozens of civilians in the air strikes, a charge Moscow denies. In Paris, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his French, German and Ukrainian counterparts for talks on the crisis in Ukraine, but those talks were likely overshadowed by the military escalation in Syria and the meeting between Putin and Holland was frosty in tone. The U.S. and its allies asked Russia to stop its strikes on targets other than Islamic State, even as Russia's lower house says the air strike campaign over Syria could last three to four months.