Russian bombers pound ISIS

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

SYRIAN forces are pummelling terrorist positions following Russian air assaults that have been stepped up following last week’s bloodbath in Paris and the revelation that the Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt was brought down by an ISIS bomb.

A squadron of Russian long-range bombers, which was part of its old nuclear strike force, pounded Raqqa, the command centre of the “Islamic State” in eastern Syria. At the same time unconfirmed reports said that Russian special forces had landed in Sadad to break the terrorist siege of the mainly Christian town in western Syria.

Now French forces are openly co-operating with the Russians in fighting ISIS after the terrorist attacks, which killed 129 civilians and wounded hundreds more in an orgy of killing by “Islamic State” gunmen in the heart of the French capital.

French president Francois Hollande performed a spectacular U-turn on Syria in the wake of the Paris massacres this week. The French social-democratic leader had been the staunchest supporter of the American drive for “regime change” in Syria in the hope that he could restore French influence in its former colony by riding on the coat-tails of US imperialism.

In the past the French actively assisted the terror gangs that are fighting to bring down Syria’s popular front government. Now the backlash on the French street has forced Hollande to change tack and work with the Russians instead.

“In Syria, we’re looking for the political solution to the problem, which is not Bashar Assad. Our enemy in Syria is ISIS,” Hollande said during an emergency meeting of the French parliament this week. Moreover France is going to intensify its participation in the Syrian coalition Francois Hollande said in the French parliament. “France is going to intensify its operations in Syria... We will continue to strike (at the terrorist targets) in the coming weeks,” he said.

This has not been good news for the Americans or their Turkish and feudal Arab allies who are continuing to support Islamic State, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood militias that occupy the oil fields of central Iraq and parts of eastern Syria. But Washington’s plans are now in tatters as even their other European Nato allies question the wisdom of the White House in blindly continuing to support terrorist movements it can’t control for “regime change” it cannot achieve.

The German government, which has avoided direct involvement in the Middle East, is deeply concerned at the effect of the US-led sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Italian politicians across the spectrum openly call for supporting Kremlin’s diplomacy while French conservative opposition leaders, including former President Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as ex- Prime Ministers Dominique de Villepin, Francois Fillon and Alain Juppe, are all saying it is absurd to antagonise the Kremlin.

Meanwhile People’s China has said that it fully supports Russia’s anti-terrorist efforts and actions in protecting its national security and that China is ready to fight together with Russia against the threat of terrorism. On Wednesday Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China is ready to work with Russia and the entire international community to fight jointly against the terror threat.

“Being an all-around strategic partner of Russia, China fully supports the anti-terrorist efforts of Russia in protecting its national security and stability, and (China supports) its counter terrorist measures.”