The Russian air-force flew 15 sorties, hitting ten Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Syria on Monday, in the sixth straight day of activity. They reportedly destroyed 20 medium T-55 tanks and three multiple-rocket launchers in the Homs Province near Palmyra. Also destroyed in Russian airstrikes were an ISIS headquarters and command post in the Aleppo Province. 30 ISIS vehicles were reported destroyed near Idlib in Northwest Syria.
Despite their claims, Russia is being criticized by members of the US led coalition for targeting rebel groups the US supports, and not targeting ISIS. Russia and the US are at odds, with Russia supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad.
On Saturday, 2 Turkish F-16’s intercepted a Russian fighter jet after it strayed from Syria and violated Turkish airspace. The Russian jet left without incident but the Turkish Foreign Ministry lodged an official complaint.
“The Russian Federation will be responsible for any undesired incident that may occur,” the ministry said.
“This current incident is a result of bad weather conditions in this region,” Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told reporters. “You shouldn’t look for conspiracy theories.”
The incident underscores the dangerous situation in which many separate air-forces are operating in the same air-space.