Syrian Ambassador: Two Days Of Russian Strikes More Effective Than Year-Long American Campaign


CNN's Matthew Chance reports from Moscow that the Syrian ambassador to Russia has announced that Russian forces are targeting "all rebel groups," not just ISIS. The Syrian ambassador also said that, from a Syrian tactical perspective, the two days of Russian bombing have been more advantageous than two years of American strikes on ISIS.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN: I spoke with the Syrian ambassador to Russia within the past hour, and he confirmed that Syria requested and Russia agreed to help the Syrian army in destroying not just ISIS but other rebel groups as well, opponents of Bashar al-Assad.

It really adds to that idea the Russian intervention in Syria is not simply about destroying ISIS. That may be one of their targets, but it's also about supporting the government of Bashar al-Assad and Russian warplanes clearly prepared to strike at rebel groups who pose the biggest threat to President Assad.

If that's ISIS, so be it, but also a plethora of rebel groups within Syria now falling within the firing line...

He did make the point, that in the past two days of air strikes, where the Russians have carried out somewhere in the region of 20 to 30 air strikes in various locations across Syria, from the Syrian government perspective, that has been more effective than the hundreds if not thousands of air strikes carried out by the United States and coalition of 60 countries in their attacks against ISIS.

Remember, this comes from a particular perspective. The Syrian government is anxious to survive. It wants to make sure the rebel groups nipping at its heels are pushed back as much as possible. It seems the Russians are clear at doing that. The Russian military are sharing intelligence with the Syrian military, sort of becoming the air wing of the Syrian armed forces. I'm paraphrasing what he said there. But that was the implication, they are working in close coordination now.

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