Syria Crisis: War Intensifies as Russia Continues Air Strikes, Iran to Join Offensive

The war scenario in Syria witnessed dramatic developments on Thursday. Russia carried airstrikes for the second consecutive day by targeting both the Islamic State (IS) as well as the U.S. supported rebel camps, in a move that positions the two world powers on opposing sides for the first time since the Cold War. Meanwhile, Iranian troops in large numbers have moved to Syria to participate in the Russian offensive against the IS troops.

Russia had launched airstrikes near the city of Homs on Wednesday after the Syrian government sought help from Russian President Vladmir Putin to fight the IS. Russian jets made several sorties on Thursday, striking at least 12 targets including an IS command center and two ammunition depots, Reuters reported citing Russian officials. However, according to the report, one of the targets struck by the Russian force included a base camp of Syrian rebels, backed by the U.S. and its allies. Although, Russia claims its primary target is IS forces, some unlisted groups could also be attacked.

The situation has warranted war talks between the U.S. and Russia as both the countries face the possibility of targeting each others’ allies and troops during land and air offensives. According to a Washington Examiner report, Russian and U.S. officials will hold war talks “very very soon,” to avoid complications with each other. The talks may happen on Thursday, Oct. 2.

The present air strikes from Russia — dubbed as its biggest military intervention in the Middle East since decades — come at a time when the U.S. and its allies have intensified their offensive against the IS.

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