A tale of two wars: Russia intensifies attacks while US - not so much
Our president says that Syria is "not some superpower chessboard contest."
You can imagine Vladimir Putin has a one word response to that:
President Obama doesn't want to play the game and is pretending Russia isn't playing either. He is sadly, stupidly mistaken.
Russia continued to intensify its attacks on non-Islamist rebels as well as Islamic State on Sunday, hitting the rebel stronghold of Homs and Hama. Dozens more civilians were killed or injured in the attacks.
Air strikes by suspected Russian jets hit targets around the town of Talbiseh in western Syria on Sunday, residents and a group which monitors the civil war in Syria said, a day after Russia promised to step up its air campaign.
Ambulances rushed wounded people to hospital in Talbiseh, north of the city of Homs, and one resident said at least five bodies had been recovered from the western part of the town.
"So far there are seven or six raids in the town," said Abdul Ghafar al Dweik, a former government employee and volunteer rescue worker.
He said he believed the raid was carried out by Russian jets. "They come suddenly... With the Syrian planes, we would get a warning but now all of a sudden we see it over our heads," he said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors Syria's four-year-old civil war through a network of sources, said Russian planes struck on Sunday in Homs province and also in neighboring Hama.
Russia launched air strikes in Syria on Wednesday, saying they targeted the hardline Islamic State militants who control large parts of eastern Syria and western Iraq. But some of the areas it has struck have little or no Islamic State presence.
Several rebel groups around Talbiseh operate under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army, and some have received military support from Western and Gulf Arab states that oppose President Bashar al-Assad.
The air strikes in Hama targeted a region in the east of the province controlled by Islamic State fighters, the Observatory said.
A senior Russian military officer said on Saturday Russian jets based in western Syria had carried out more than 60 sorties in 72 hours. "We will not only continue strikes... We will also increase their intensity," said Andrei Kartapolov from the Russian army General Staff.
Meanwhile, here is a list of bombing missions conducted by CENTCOM in Syria on October 1:
- Near AL Hasakah, six strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and an ISIL crude oil collection point and destroyed an ISIL excavator, ISIL building, and an ISIL vehicle.
- Near Palmyra, one strike destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle.
- Near Dayr Az Zawr, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL vehicles, and ISIL two anti-air artillery platform
We bombed a bulldozer, a "tactical vehicle," and a few odds and ends. No doubt Islamic State is reeling from the onslaught.
Bottom line: Russia is serious about winning and Barack Obama is not.