The White House is closely monitoring reports that Russia has begun military operations in Syria, according to a tweet from Agence France-Presse’s White House reporter, Andrew Beatty. While there is no indication about who or what Russia is targeting in its alleged military operation, it’s likely to be against the Islamic State group, given that the terror group openly admitted attacking a Russian military base in Dagestan on Wednesday.
Russia also shares a close diplomatic relationship with Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime in Damascus, which counts the Islamic State group as an enemy. This means that any operation against government-run Syria is unlikely.
Beatty also tweeted that the White House said that if Russia is, in fact, fighting in Syria, it would be “both destabilizing and counterproductive.”
While the United States is not openly supporting Assad’s regime, it has essentially paired up with it in the fight against the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL. The U.S. is part of an allied group that is conducting airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, where ISIS has based its so-called Islamic Caliphate. Not troops have been committed by the allied group, although the U.S. is helping to train Kurdish and Syrian rebel forces. Meanwhile, Assad’s military is also attempting to push ISIS out of Syria.