The following is an excerpt from Ed Payne and Barbara Starr | September 30, 2015 | CNN.com |
Washington (CNN)[Breaking news update, 7:53 a.m.]
Russia has conducted its first airstrike in Syria, near the city of Homs, a senior U.S. official told CNN Wednesday . The Russians told the United States that they should not fly U.S. warplanes in Syria, but gave no geographical information about where they planned to strike. The senior official said U.S. missions are continuing as normal.
[Previous story, 6:32 a.m. ET]
The upper house of the Russian parliament has given President Vladimir Putin approval to use the Russian air force in Syria, according to state media.
"The Federation Council unanimously supported the President's request -- 162 votes in favor of granting permission," Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergey Ivanov said, according to ITAR-Tass.
The vote came after a request by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for military assistance in fighting ISIS, Ivanov said.
'They are ready'
Russian airstrikes in Syria could happen at any time, a U.S. official with knowledge of the latest intelligence told CNN this week.
"They could start at any moment," the official said. "They are ready."
After several days of Russian familiarization flights, there is no reason they could not begin, the official added. And Russian drones have been collecting potential targeting information in their flights. But the U.S. doesn't know what the Russians have in mind and when they will make a decision on airstrikes.
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