Army spokesman says Russia not fighting ISIS in Syria and making refugee crisis worse

Army Col. Steven Warren, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman, speaking from Baghdad. Feb. 10, 2016.

Russian and Syrian actions in Syria have left 50,000 civilians “without lifesaving access” in the city of Aleppo.

This morning, Army Col. Steven Warren, the official Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman spoke at the Pentagon via a video conference from Baghdad, Iraq.

“With reduced humanitarian access and continued strikes by the Russians and the Syrians thousands of civilians are suffering,” said Col. Warren.

Russia has reportedly destroyed the two main hospitals in the city which has exacerbated any local humanitarian effort.

Warren said, “The situation in and around Aleppo has become, in our view, increasingly dire.”  He continued to say, “Yesterday’s UN report accused the Syrian regime of ‘inhume actions’ against Syrian civilians on a scale, in their words, the UN’s words, that amounts to extermination.”

Humanitarian groups have attempted to provide aid within the city but Russian military actions have only made it increasingly difficult.  The lack of precision when conducting airstrikes had increased safety risks for civilians and humanitarian aid workers.

The US Army claims that ISIS is virtually non-existent in that part of Syria and questions Russians intentions.

“Russia can no longer credibly claim its airstrikes there are doing anything other than supporting regime forces,” said Col. Warren.

The United Nations stated that Russia has mounted a ‘systematic and widespread attack on civilians’ which has forced tens of thousands Syrians to flee the country.

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