Russia has unleashed airstrikes against Syria for the third day in a row on Friday, and many Western leaders are quickly growing tired of the country’s involvement in the region.
Russia claims that it is targeting the Islamic State, but it is really attacking areas that are held by Syrian rebel groups. Russia is taking these actions in an effort to keep Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in office.
A coalition led by the United States to fight against ISIS has demanded that Russia immediately stop its attacks against targets other than ISIS.
The coalition includes the United States, major European powers, certain Arab countries, and Turkey.
The coalition said in a statement, “We call on the Russian Federation to immediately cease its attacks on the Syrian opposition and civilians and to focus its efforts on fighting ISIS. We express our deep concern with regard to the Russian military build-up in Syria and especially the attacks by the Russian Air Force on Hama, Homs and Idlib since yesterday which led to civilian casualties and did not target (the Islamic State).”
ISIS has set up a government across an area of eastern Syria and northern Iraq.
The terrorist organization is one of many groups fighting against Syrian forces that are trying to keep President Assad in power. The United States and its allies say that Russia is using its desire to defeat ISIS as an excuse to attack groups that oppose Assad.
Russia is known to be an ally of Syria and President Assad.
Many of the Syrian rebel forces that have been attacked by Russia have received weaponry from the United States.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently gave an address at the United Nations, urging countries to support Assad.
Meanwhile, as a result of Russian airstrikes, Friday prayers in the province of Homs in Syria were cancelled. Residents expressed concern that their mosques might be targeted. The area remains in control of Syrian rebel forces. There has been no significant pressure from ISIS forces in the area.
ISIS also reportedly cancelled its prayers.
Russia recently stated that 12 of its airstrikes hit establishments of ISIS. However, most of these attacks took place in the western and northern parts of Syria, while ISIS maintains its largest presence in eastern Syria.
However, reports do indicate that Russia has indeed conducted a small number of confirmed attacks against ISIS fighters.
Russia’s military involvement in Syria is part of a dramatic escalation of foreign involvement in the Syrian Civil War, which has now lasted for more than four years.