Russia and Syria have launched a major offensive to cut the IS-controlled city of ‘Raqqa’ from access to the Turkish border. After having pushed into Manbij last week, the Syrian army units backed by Russian fighter jets, attacked the city of ‘Tabqa’. Syrian authorities claim that this attack by Russia and Syria will cut logistic support of the IS. Meanwhile Russia has been held responsible for air attacks on the Der ez-Zor region of eastern Syria that claimed 26 lives. Russia has denied this allegation.
Like they did last week, Russian fighter planes along with the Syrian army, launched a joint operation on IS strongholds. Monday morning saw Russian fighter jets target principle spots in Tabqa. While the Syrian army aimed at capturing the air base of this city located on the banks of the Euphrates, the Russian jets hit at terrorists to clear the way for the Syrian army. The Manbij offensive launched last week was on the lines of this same strategy.
The Syrian army backed by Russian air support, has launched simultaneous attacks on Manbij and Tabqa and it is claimed that IS has had to suffer major setbacks in both the cases. Although Manbij has not been completely purged of terrorists, the Syrian troops have successfully retaken the city for the most part. An operation on Aleppo, an important city, will soon follow the Manbij and the Tabqa operations, informed the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov.
Lavrov then went on to announce that in order to thwart the possibility of terrorists taking over the important city of Aleppo, Russian fighter planes will launch the most powerful of air offensives yet and support the Syrian army too. Russia had invited the US to join in in the air offensive but the US, declined to launch air attacks jointly with Russia, Lavrov stated.
Aleppo was attacked by the terrorists of the Jabhat al-Nusra last week. It was after the Russian army prepared for the air attack that the US had objected to it. Arguing that pro-US rebel groups in Aleppo were in conflict with the ‘Jabhat’ and the Russian air attacks could prove damaging to these rebel groups, which was why the US urged Russia to not launch the attack on Aleppo.