French, British tell Russia to focus its fire on ISIL

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France and the UK are calling on Russia to focus its air strikes on Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) instead of moderate rebels opposed to the Assad regime.

Russian defence ministry website footage of an airstrike in Syria.
Russian defense ministry website footage of an air strike in Syria.

Britain’s defense ministry said on Oct. 4 that a mere five percent of Russian strikes last week were aimed at ISIL targets.

French President Francois Hollande said he “reminded President Putin that the strikes should be aimed at Daesh and only Daesh,” using the Arabic acronym for the terror group.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Oct. 4 said Russia should not “get the wrong targets,” and to spare civilians, pointing out that Syrian President Bashar Assad has no had no problem using deadly weapons against his own people.

“We cannot attack civilians… Bashar’s regime continues to drop barrels of petrol (barrel bombs) and chemical weapons on civilians and that is intolerable,” Valls said, according to AFP. Valls went on to say that France favors a political transition that Assad would not be a part of.

Russia has continued to claim that the bulk of its air strikes, which began on Sept. 30, were aimed at ISIL targets in Homs and Hama provinces. U.S. intelligence, however, determined that U.S.-backed rebels who are fighting ISIL but opposed to the Assad regime were actually targeted by a number of strikes.

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