RUSSIA has launched fighter jets on a bombing campaign in Syria – just HOURS after its parliament unanimously approved the use of military force in the war-torn country.
Vladimir Putin this morning bolstered his support of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad by sending six of its most advanced fighter bomber jets to the Middle East to attack ISIS.
Permission from parliament for attacks followed and an attack was launched by the country’s deadliest aircraft shortly after.
A senior source in Washington, which was said to have been alarmed by the latest developments, revealed the raids this afternoon, adding they were given an hour’s notice by Moscow.
He said today’s raids were carried out in Homs, an area in western Syria where ISIS recently gained ground.
Putin’s move comes just after he met international leaders in New York.
Among them was US President Barack Obama, who told Putin that Assad could not be part of Syria’s future.
Putin has called for an “anti-Hitler-style coalition” to crack Islamic State (ISIS) and says backing Assad is the only way to beat Islamic extremists in the Middle East.
But Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron want the Syrian dictator ousted as civil war has seen atrocities against his own people.
While Russia and the US were locked in face-to-face talks, Putin was sending six Su-34 Fullbacks to Assad-controlled Latakia.
The planes were spotted by bloggers.
They were led by a Russian Air Force Tu-154 and join 28 fighter jets already in Syria.
A Syrian activist said: “The movement in the airport never stops with warplanes and helicopters taking off and landing.
“It is forbidden to come close to the airport, even for Syrian officers and soldiers.
“The management is 100 per cent Russian except for some Syrian senior personnel and experts who sometimes accompany the Russians to the airport.”
Both ISIS and rebel forces against Assad are likely be targeted in Russian raids from the Syrian base.
But the US and UK are backing the rebel fighters and this has led to warnings from senior army officers that Britain is on collision course with Putin and must prepare for war with the Russians.
Although meetings between Putin and Obama have been frosty when it comes to Assad’s future, the pair both agreed on an alliance to tackle ISIS.
Putin said: “We must address the problems that we are all facing and create a broad anti-terror coalition.”
Obama remained steadfast in his view Assad must go.
The US leader said: “The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict.
“But we must recognise that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the pre-war status quo.”
Russia’s head of the presidential administration Sergei Ivanov said the vote to approve Russia’s offensive abroad was made this morning.
It came after a request for help was made by Assad. It relates to use of the air force and not boots on the ground.