The United States and six other countries released a joint statement on Friday that expressed their concerns over Russia’s recent foray into the Syrian Civil War.
The media note, signed by France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the U.S., was released by the State Department Friday.
The seven governments said they were concerned over the Russian airstrikes that caused civilian casualties in Hama, Homs, and Idlib — areas where an ISIS presence is minimal at best. Russia has openly expressed their intention to enter the civil war to help the regime of ally Bashar al-Assad.
Russia started an airstrike campaign on Wednesday by dropping bombs on targets provided by the Syrian Army near the cities of Homs and Hama. While the Russians depicted their intervention as a way to fight the extremist group ISIS, maps that layout the division of territory, videos taken by people on the ground, and claims from civilian groups all indicate that Russia is not bombing ISIS but is attacking civilian areas where some opposition groups are present. Some of these opposition groups are backed by the U.S. and various allies. In fact, Russia’s bombing of opposition groups that regularly engage both Assad and ISIS could actually embolden ISIS.