Russia and France Join Forces In Syria…Blackjack and Bear Bombers Launch Cruise Missiles On Raqqa

Russia to join forces with France in mission to DESTROY ISIS after terror attacks

express sunday

RUSSIA has agreed to join forces with France to combat Islamic State (ISIS) as both countries reel from terrorist attacks by the jihadis.

two prime ministers
Presidents Putin and Hollande have said they will join forces to fight ISIS  Getty  
The announcement came as Russia fired missiles at ISIS in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, just hours after the former soviet country finally confirmed terrorists were responsible for the downing of a Russian airliner.

Metrojet Flight 9268 was downed by ‘foreign explosives’ in Egypt on October 31 – leaving all 224 people onboard dead.

As France attempts to come to terms with six horrific attacks on Paris last Friday which left 129 dead, Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to work with the French military in Syria during a phone called with his French counterpart, Francois Hollande.

Mr Hollande had earlier called for Russia and the US – as well as fellow EU countries – to join a coalition to destroy ISIS after the terror group admitted responsibility for the attack on the French capital.

Tonight France launched further airstrikes on the ISIS-stronghold of Raqqa in Syria, with ten planes taking part, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French defence minister confirmed.

Russia’s defence minister said this afternoon Russian warplanes have fired cruise missiles on militant positions in Syria’s Idlib and Aleppo provinces.

Sergei Shoigu also told a briefing conducted for President Putin on Tuesday bombers hit Islamic State positions in Raqqa and Der-ez-Zor.

Mr Shoigu said the cruise missiles which hit the Aleppo and Idlib positions were fired from Tu-160 and Tu-95 warplanes.

Earlier US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said ISIS is losing territory because of the American-led military operations in Iraq and Syria.

Using the Arabic name for ISIS, Mr Kerry said: “We agreed to exchange more information and I’m convinced that over the course of the next weeks, Daesh will feel greater pressure.

“They are feeling it today. They felt it yesterday. They felt it in the past weeks. We gained more territory. Dash has less territory.

“There is a clear strategy in place. Step-by-step I’m confident momentum will pick up.”

France’s call for military support from other EU countries has invoked an article of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty which has never been used before and which requires states to provide “aid and assistance by all the means in their power” to a member which is “the victim of armed aggression on its territory”.

Early this morning Vladimir Putin vowed to “find” and “punish” those responsible for the plane crash on the doomed Russian airliner last month after officials confirmed it was “a terrorist act”.

He has now offered a £33million reward for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible for the bombing.

In retaliation of the announcement he has ramped up attacks on ISIS, with sea-launched cruise missiles and long-range bombers fired, according to a US official.

It comes as Egyptian authorities detained two employees of Sharm al-Sheikh airport in connection with the downing of the passenger jet, killing all 224 people on board.

Security officials said: “Seventeen people are being held, two of them are suspected of helping whoever planted the bomb on the plane at Sharm al-Sheikh airport.”

Russia’s shift in tone follows assertions by British and American officials that terrorism was likely the cause of the plane crash, which exploded shortly after it took off from the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.