It is well known that the United States has created, armed and financed rebel groups fighting against the Syrian regime. It is also known that many members of these groups will eventually become supporters of terrorist movements such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

The expertise and weaponry shown by ISIS are American made, and that fact cannot be denied. Therefore, it is safe to say that the bombings conducted by Russia on rebel positions in Syria, which are supported by Washington, have actually been direct attacks on the United States proxy armies, ideology, foreign policy and management of the Syrian war. Another fact that cannot be denied is that the US is interested in the war in Syria continuing indefinitely, and the Russian intervention will undoubtedly interrupt that plan.

This does not mean that Russia does not intend to attack ISIS in the near future, but with the attacks on rebel groups, Putin has prevented the arrival of new recruits to the terrorist group. The strategy is clear. After having deluded men support, Putin will destroy ISIS positions in Syria and then in Iraq. In simple terms, Putin is uprooting ISIS from the Middle East and Northern Africa.

In the areas attacked by Russia yesterday and today, there are no official positions of the Islamic State but of Al Qaeda and small militias supported by Washington. The objective of the Russian aviation is to support  for a “limited time” Syrian military offensives. The actors in the Syrian war are now attacking US allies who are in most cases mercenaries available to fight for the highest bidder.

At first, when the United States was determined to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, its allies in the Gulf -Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and others- promoted aiding Islamist and jihadist militias.

In 2015, when the US finally reached an agreement with Turkey to supposedly fight ISIS, the first thing that the Turkish army did was to attack the Kurds, allies of Washington.

Now that Russia and the US have reached a pact so that Russian planes can bomb ISIS, the first thing that the planes have bombed is whatever little remains of the Free Syrian Army, supported by Washington.

As expected, Russia’s intervention unleashed a “media war” with Assad’s opponents accusing Russia of bombing civilians. The media war is being fought on both sides. While the western mainstream media calls Putin a tyrant for bombing terrorists, they say nothing about Obama, who wasn’t even invited to occupy Syrian territory, much less to support ISIS in an attempt to bring Assad down. After much rhetoric about Assad having to leave immediately, now US diplomats are considering and negotiating Assad’s permanence in power.

Russia, in fact, did not only attack the Islamic State as Moscow says, but it also ensured to destroy eight very clear positions including ISIS’s bases and arms depots. The bombings occurred in places like the city of Homs, where it is known that the forces of the caliphate are not present, but where they do have camps and weapons.

It is also known that there are ​​US-backed militias near the city, tiny groups composed by dissolved factions of the Free Syrian Army with little or no leadership. These rebels would have been perfect ISIS recruits.

The target area is a rebel bag, surrounded by forces of the Syrian regime, between the cities of Homs and Hama. It is not in the hands of the Islamic State, as claimed by the Russian newspaper Argumenty i Fakti, but is in the hands of what could turn out to be future ISIS forces.

In two of the bombed sites, Rastan and Latama, the aforementioned US-backed militias are present. In another, Talbisa, they share power with Al Nusra Front, the Syrian official branch of Al Qaeda and other Islamist groups, the most prominent of which is the radical Ahrar al-Sham.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said the US welcomed the Russian military intervention as long as it was solely directed against the Islamic State and the members of Al Nusra Front. Moscow, before the flood of criticism, has rectified that it also attacked the Al Nusra Front.

Al Nusra retired to the area Talbisa after the US and Turkey proposed to have an Islamic State-free zone in the province of Aleppo, says the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). The move by Washington was based on the belief that Free Syrian Army militias posed no greater threat to the Syrian regime, when in reality Al Nusra was the main threat. This is why it has become Russia’s main target.

Talbisa civil activists spoke of 16 dead civilians, including two children. A member of the Local Coordination Committee apparently told Reuters that it was “the first time we suffer such intense attack” and that a school and an office that oversees the distribution of bread had been destroyed.

In Rastan, a doctor said: “We’ve been exposed to all kinds of weapons in the past five years, but what happened on Wednesday was the most violent and vicious attack suffered north of Homs.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, considered the most reliable source of war by its extensive network of collaborators, has been slow to give casualty figures. In a statement released on Thursday, it estimated the death of 28 people during the Russian attacks, without specifying how many of them were civilians or rebels.

The Syrian army continued to comb the towns bombed by the Russians, as it has done in a while. After the bombings, Islamist militias launched counterattack the morning after the planes flew over Talbisa.

According to the Institute for the Study of War, the objectives chosen by Russia and Damascus clearly demonstrate that Russia intends to “help the war effort of the regime and to secure the territories of Latakia and Tartus” that is where Russia has its naval base.

In reality Moscow has not fooled anyone. It is known that Syria has an interest in recovering Homs and Hama completely, as both areas could turn into ISIS settlements in the future. Putin himself was clear in one of his speeches that Russia’s role in Syria would be pre-emptive and that the bombings would “support the Syrian army for a limited time while the Syrian troops could take the offensive.”

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