Russia launches air strikes in Syria: Video purports to show Russian planes bombing Isis positions

US officals claim Russia is not targeting Isis but instead 'taking on the whole rest of the country that’s fighting Assad'

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The Independent Online

Russia’s defence ministry has released footage purportedly showing its aircraft bombing Isis positions.

Moscow claims eight Isis targets were hit during 20 strikes, including the total destruction of a “terrorist HQ” and “coordination centre” in the north of Syria.

 

However, US authorities have expressed concern Russian forces may not be targeting Isis positions but instead anti-Assad rebels, alleging some are forces supported by the US.

Defence secretary Ashton Carter told the New York Times Russia is “taking on the whole rest of the country that’s fighting Assad.”

But Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov claimed Moscow’s forces had “exclusively” hit Isis positions. "Rumours that the targets of these strikes were not IS positions were groundless," he told journalists at the UN General Assembly.

In carefully released footage, which cannot be verified, the Russian defence ministry video appears to show a number of targets being successfully hit.

However, David Cenciotti, founder of widely read military aviation blog The Aviationist, has claimed the Russian forces may have missed their targets.

In a blog post published on Wednesday, Mr Cenciotti – who admits it is impossible to verify the weapons used – claims the video demonstrates Russian forces “seemingly missing their target by several meters.

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