US officials told CNN today that Russia has positioned its warplanes to prepare itself for involvement in the war against ISIS, and while they don’t know exactly what their intentions are, Russia could begin launching such strikes at any moment.
The Obama Administration has struggled with their narrative on this possibility, railing at Russia for potential intervention in favor of the Syrian government and saying their involvement in the war against ISIS would make the war take longer.
France seems to be taking the opposite position, with Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius egging Russia on, daring them to hurry up and start launching strikes against ISIS, saying that if Russia is really as against ISIS as they say, they be attacking them.
“What’s important in the fight against Islamic State is not the media strike, it’s the real strike,” Fabius declared, insisting Russia does a lot of talking about being anti-ISIS, but isn’t sending its warplanes against them so far.
While the US officials’ report suggested that Russia’s bombing would involve the warplanes already deployed inside Syria, other reports suggest Russia has relocated a number of its long-range bombers to southern Russian air bases, which would give them the ability to launch strikes into Syria from Russian soil.
Russia has been urging a “broad coalition” against ISIS, seeking coordination with Iran, Iraq, Syria, and the US-led coalition on the fight against the ISIS forces. The call was mocked by President Obama, and the US is said to be reducing intelligence coordination with Iraq to spite them for agreeing to share with Russia.