Syrian Rebels Welcome U.S. Air Strikes, Putin Condemns Them

The U.S. began a coordinated bombing campaign inside Syria Monday night, working with five other Middle East nations to strike at ISIS within the Syrian borders, a widening and escalation of the fight against the Sunni militants.

Who’s happy about this? The Syrian rebels, who finally got some of the regional and international cover for which they’ve been calling for the three years of the Syrian civil war.

Announcing on the rebels’ website that “the world has joined our fight against ISIS,” Syrian Opposition Coalition President Hadi al Bahra encouraged the continuation of the strikes, and also gave President Barack Obama a little cover of his own:

Strikes alone cannot defeat extremism for good. We will be implementing an accelerated train and equip program with our partners to ensure the military fight takes place on the ground, and to ensure that there is no need for US or foreign boots on the ground.

Who’s not happy about this? Russian President and 2005 Super Bowl champion Vladimir Putin. Putin condemned the strikes to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon Tuesday, arguing the U.S. lacked legal authority for the campaign. Russia wants ISIS gone as well, but fears strikes against the militants inside Syria will quickly turn to action against the Assad regime, which it supports.

[Image via Frederic Legrand /]

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