The following is an excerpt from Brian Walker | October 7, 2015 | CNN.com |
Washington (CNN)Russia and the embattled Syrian regime launched coordinated attacks on Islamist factions in numerous towns in Hama and Idlib provinces in western Syria on Wednesday, with Syrian shelling being conducted in apparent concert with Russian airstrikes, according to an opposition observatory.
If the report is correct, it would mark a new level of cooperation between Russia and the Syrian government, and offer fresh evidence that Russia's primary goal is propping up the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad rather than fighting regional terrorism.
But, even as its warplanes conducted fresh strikes, Russia said it was willing to cooperate with the United States in carrying out attacks in Syria.
Russia's Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Wednesday his country was prepared to take information and intelligence obtained by the U.S-led coalition against ISIS, and called on all sides to share targeting reconnaissance.
A ministry spokesman, quoted by Russia's TASS news agency, said the ministry responded to a request by the Pentagon. It then "swiftly considered" the U.S. proposals to coordinate.
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