Video released by the Russian Defence Ministry shows Russian jets hitting targets in Syria, which the Kremlin says includes a list of well-known militant organizations and not only Islamic State. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Russian air strikes in Syria are targeting a list of well-known militant organizations, not only Islamic State, the Kremlin said on Thursday (October 1), a day after the launch of its aerial campaign opened up a volatile new phase in the conflict. Moscow had previously framed its campaign as primarily aimed at Islamic State militants, saying it feared Russian and other ex-Soviet citizens who belong to the group would shift their focus to their home countries if they were not stopped in Syria. But on Thursday, after the United States and rebels on the ground suggested Russian strikes had so far not focused on Islamic State, it said its operation was pitched more broadly. "These organizations (on the target list) are well-known and the targets are chosen in coordination with the armed forces of Syria," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, when asked if Russia and the West had different views on what constituted a terrorist group. He said that mechanisms to coordinate the strikes with other countries were working. Asked whether President Vladimir Putin was satisfied with the way the Russian air campaign was shaping up, Peskov said it was too early to discuss the matter.