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The Latest: Warning Airstrikes Could Worsen Migrant Crisis

Thursday, 01 October 2015 06:58 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — The latest developments as Russia and other nations counter Islamic State militants in Syria. All times local:

1:35 p.m.

A member of the Czech government has warned that Russian airstrikes in Syria can only worsen the migrant crisis in Europe and result in a new wave of refugees.

Addressing the lower house of Parliament, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said Thursday: "I am looking with a deep distrust at the Russian military engagement in the area," adding that airstrikes alone "solve nothing."

Chovanec says there are millions of Syrians displaced from their homes in their own country and "if they lose hope the war will end ... they'll be again heading for Germany."

12:55 p.m.

The Foreign Ministry in Tehran says that Iran fully supports Russian airstrikes against "terrorist groups" in Syria.

According to a statement by the ministry's spokeswoman, Marzieh Afkham, the "Islamic Republic of Iran considers military action by Russia against armed terrorist groups to be a step toward fighting terrorism and toward resolving the current crisis" in Syria.

She says the Russian airstrikes come in response to an "official request by Syria's government from the Russian Federation." The statement was carried by the official IRNA news agency.

12:20 p.m.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia's airstrikes in Syria are targeting not only Islamic State militants but also other extremist groups.

Russia on Wednesday carried out its first airstrikes in Syria. Moscow insisted that it was targeting IS militants while U.S. officials and other cast doubt on the claim, saying the Russians appeared to be attacking opposition groups fighting Syrian government forces.

Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday that Russia is going after IS militants and other "well-known" groups.

Asked whether Russia is choosing its own targets or following the instructions of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Peskov said the targets were chosen "in coordination" with the Syrian army.

The Russian defense ministry said late Wednesday Russia had carried out 20 airstrikes.

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The latest developments as Russia and other nations counter Islamic State militants in Syria. All times local:1:35 p.m.A member of the Czech government has warned that Russian airstrikes in Syria can only worsen the migrant crisis in Europe and result in a new wave of...
EU,Syria,The Latest
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2015-58-01
Thursday, 01 October 2015 06:58 AM
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