Russia conducts first airstrikes in Syria
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Russia has started conducting airstrikes in Syria on Wednesday after its parliament granted President Vladimir Putin the right to use military force there, according to multiple reports

Russia conducted its first airstrike near the western city of Homs, a senior U.S. official said, according to The New York Times and CNN
 
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The U.S. was given an hour's notice of the airstrikes before they started, in the form of a message to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, according to reports.
 
"A Russian official in Baghdad this morning informed U.S. Embassy personnel that Russian military aircraft would begin flying anti-ISIL missions today over Syria," State Department spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday, using an alternate acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
 
"He further requested that U.S. aircraft avoid Syrian airspace during these missions. We've seen media reporting that has suggested Russian missions have begun," Kirby added.

"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."
 
Russia's airstrikes in Syria represent an escalation in the global power's efforts to gain greater influence in the Middle East as the U.S. attempts to combat ISIS. 
 
Its airstrikes are viewed by Russians as a way to push back on ISIS in Syria while also bolstering Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom the U.S. has called on to step aside.
 
Putin and President Obama gave dueling speeches to the United Nations this week as they argued for different options to deal with ISIS and the Syrian civil war.