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SO IT BEGINS: Russian Jets Pound Rebel Positions in Syria

After establishing military presence in Syria, Putin’s forces go on the attack.

By Gil Ronen

Russian warplanes began carrying out strikes on rebel targets in the Homs and Hamat districts of Syria Wednesday.

Russia’s upper house of parliament authorized the use of military force in Syria earlier Wednesday, after President Vladimir Putin personally requested it consider the move.

“I want to say the result of the vote was a unanimous approval of the Russian president’s request,” Sergei Ivanov, who heads Putin’s administration, stated.

“Importantly: this is specifically about Syria. I want to underline that this is not about any kind of political objective or ambitions that we have been accused of by our western partners. It is only about international interests of Russian Federation.”

Among those interests, he said, are defending Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces against rebels.

“Already a range of states are conducting rocket bomb strikes in Syria and Iraq, including the United States. France recently joined those operations,” Ivanov said.

“But these actions violate international law. To be in accordance with international law, one condition must be observed: either a UNSC resolution, or a request for military assistance from the state on whose territory those strikes are to take place.”

Moscow’s military assistance is in response to a specific request from Assad…..


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