It will be Russia’s first engagement in a distant theatre of war since the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday won permission from parliament to carry out air strikes in Syria, in what would be Moscow’s first engagement in a distant theatre of war since the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
The announcement comes as Putin and US President Barack Obama are pushing rival plans on ways to defeat the Islamic State group in Syria and the role of the country’s leader Bashar al-Assad.
“The Federation Council unanimously supported the president’s request,” the Kremlin’s chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said in televised remarks after the upper house approved Putin’s request to deploy troops abroad.
“We are talking about Syria,” he said, adding that the decision to launch air strikes was taken after the Syrian president asked Russia for military support.
Ivanov declined to give details of the operation, saying only it would have a limited timeframe, and also ruled out ground operations.