US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter speaks about Russian airstrikes in Syria during a press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, September 30, 2015
US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter speaks about Russian airstrikes in Syria during a press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, September 30, 2015 © Saul Loeb - AFP
US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter speaks about Russian airstrikes in Syria during a press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, September 30, 2015
AFP
Last updated: October 1, 2015

Russia's 'pouring gasoline on fire' in Syria: US defense chief

Russia's air strikes in Syria on Wednesday "probably" did not target Islamic State jihadists, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said, contradicting Russian claims.

"It does appear (the strikes) were in areas where there were probably not ISIL forces," Carter said, using an alternative acronym for the IS group. The Russian defense ministry had said its strikes targeted IS militants.

Russia's military involvement in Syria only risks inflaming the years-old conflict, Carter said.

Moscow's "approach is tantamount... to pouring gasoline on the fire," he said at the Pentagon, hours after Russia launched air strikes in Syria.

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