Russia plays a controversial role in Middle East

by Thomas Petroff

People Editor

Conflict in the Middle East has been a continuous problem in the world today for decades; religious and political problems are on the rise in the areas around Afghanistan and Syria. The US is currently struggling with the recent authorization of Russian airstrikes and its impact on the suspected targets.

Entering the Syrian war in Sept. 2015, the Russians have already become significantly involved in the military conflict in Syria. One airstrike initiated by the Russians occurred in the Deir ez-Zor province, on the eastern side of Syria. This province borders the country of Iraq, which is why so many civilians are fleeing from conflict by crossing the border. During the attack at least 38 civilians lost their lives, shot while attempting to cross the Euphrates River. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights believes that among the 38, nine children were killed.

The Observatory claims that they have a record of which airstrikes are authorized according to the time, location, and type of aircraft. The US coalition also adds that they are attempting to avoid harming citizens by all means possible. Despite these efforts, the coalition acknowledges that they are responsible for the deaths of over 700 civilians. However, the Russians have yet to make any acknowledgements to the damage they have inflicted upon in Syria.

According to Russian authorities, their military warplanes attacked and targeted Islamic State (IS) militants. These militants traveled from Iraq into Syria, and over a hundred died from the Russian airstrikes. Major General Igor Konashenkov of the Russian Defense Ministry described the situation, stating that there was 182 airstrikes made in only 24 hours on Oct. 10. The Russians have supported the Syrian army by authorizing several airstrikes.

Konashenkov further explained how Russian visuals from drones have shown a major Islamic State group in Mayadin, Syria, and capital of the Mayadin district. Konashenkov reported that they used Su-34s, fighter-bomber type aircrafts, to perform the strikes, ultimately killing over 70 militants in the area. They additionally wiped out seven tanks and many other vehicles contaniting weapons.

Clearly, the conflict facilitated conversation between US and Russian authorities. While the fighting in this region continues, special forces must consider new ways in protecting the lives of innocent civilians and focus more on the militants of the war.

(Sources: ABC, The Guardian)

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