US ignores Russia’s warning to continue air strikes in Syria

The US State Department on Wednesday said America would continue to lead the coalition air campaign against the Islamic State (IS) despite Russia’s warning to avoid Syrian airspace as Moscow began its first air strike.

In a statement, State Department spokesman John Kirby said a Russian official informed the US embassy in Baghdad prior to Russia’s first ever air strikes in Syria against the IS and warned the US to avoid Syrian airspace, Xinhua reported.

“The US-led coalition will continue to fly missions over Iraq and Syria as planned and in support of our international mission to degrade and destroy ISIL,” Kirby said, referring to the group by another acronym.

Citing US officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, CNN reported that the Pentagon was “taken aback” by Russia’s air strikes in Syria.