Germany voices doubt Russia targeting IS in Syria

Germany voiced doubt today about Russia’s claims that it was targeting Islamic State jihadists rather than moderate rebels with its air strikes in Syria.

“About the… Continuing Russian air strikes: We would consider it important to reconcile words and actions,” said foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer.

Russian warplanes have been flying over Syrian territory since Wednesday, hitting what Moscow says are IS group targets, while the West has accused Russia of mainly striking moderate opponents of the Assad regime.

With Western powers also flying missions in Syria, Schaefer said it was crucial that “military staff of all countries taking part in the airstrikes conduct the necessary communication to… Prevent terrible misunderstandings that could cause events that lead to a wave of escalation.”

Schaefer stressed that Berlin sees no military solution to the Syrian conflict.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had recently met his counterparts from regional powers Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran in the search for a political solution, he said.