US Army Europe Commander ‘Astonished’ by Russian Anti-ISIL Syria Campaign

Su-34 bomber jet

Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said that Moscow had greater potential than he had imagined.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The commanding general of the US Army in Europe said he was astonished by Russia’s capacity to deploy its troops to Syria and start an anti-terror campaign in the country.”I was one of those people surprised about their move in Syria. I’ve been watching them in Syria for some time now, but I thought they were so stressed with what they were doing that I didn’t realize they had a capacity also to pick up and move into Syria,” Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said in an interview with the Defense News weekly.

He made no forecasts on the duration of Russia’s airstrikes on the Islamic State militants’ targets in the Arab state. It is related to possible combat losses, which is “inevitable,” according to him.

At the same time, he admitted that Moscow, perhaps, had greater potential than he had imagined.Russia’s Sukhoi Su-25, Su-24M and Su-34 attack aircraft, with the support of Su-30 jets, launched precision airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria on September 30, following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that the time frame for Russia’s campaign in Syria will be limited to the Syrian army’s offensive.