Russia has launched airstrikes against Daesh (ISIL) terrorists at the request of the Syrian government to defend the country from a US-led invasion, an American political commentator and journalist says.
On Wednesday morning, Russian fighter jets carried out their first airstrike against ISIL terrorists near the Syrian city of Homs, which has seen some of the fiercest fighting between Syrian forces and foreign-sponsored militants since 2011.
Russia started the air campaign after the upper house of its parliament gave President Vladimir Putin the green light to use force in Syria. The government of President Bashar al-Assad had requested for Russian military support against Daesh.
Russia acts in coordination with Syria
In an interview with Press TV on Thursday, Don DeBar said Russia is implementing its defense agreements with Syria.
“The Syrian government, which is the legitimate government of Syria according to every measure by the UN… has agreements with Russia – mutual self-defense agreements, arms agreements and others – that are being implemented.”
“Russia is acting in coordination with the Syrian government to defend Syria from an invasion. This is an invasion, this is not a rebellion. They are not Syrians that are doing this fighting,” he emphasized.
“These are the people from other countries that are on tour, they were in Libya, they have been elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East, and they will be going somewhere else once they are finished in Syria too,” he added.
“But what Russia is doing is coordinating with Syria to rid Syria of terrorists. Now the fact [is] that the United States has some terrorists that it simply guides into battle like ISIL or Daesh… and the so-called moderate rebels,” the analyst stated.
“They are all illegal,” DeBar said. “And the Syrian government has every right - and the responsibility, by the way - to protect the Syrian people from them. Russia has the right at the request of the Syrian government to help them do that.”
On Wednesday, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter criticized Russia’s policy in Syria as “contradictory,” saying its airstrikes in support of the Syrian government were “pouring gasoline on the fire.”
The Pentagon chief said that Russian airstrikes against Daesh terrorists were pointless while Moscow continued to support the Assad government.
“To fight [ISIL] without pursuing a political transition only risks a civil war,” Carter said. “That approach is tantamount to pouring gasoline on the fire.”
US worried about its proxy force
Commenting to Press TV, DeBar said that “the issue for our friend, Mr. Ashton Carter, is that his soldiers are now facing off against Russian airstrikes.”
“And the most interesting thing that comes out from Carter’s mouth is that this activity risks a civil war which is what the United States has been saying all along has been going on in Syria,” he stated.
“They [American officials] have termed their invasion, a rebellion, a civil war. They are now, not only tacitly but essentially admitting facially that it’s not a civil war, and one is being risked now,” the veteran journalist concluded.