Russian warplanes attacked Syrian cities this week but the U.S. disputes whether those targets were the right ones.
Russia says the strikes targeted Islamic State fighters in those cities. But American military officials and Syrian human-rights groups say the cities are controlled by moderates who oppose the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
They claim the attacks killed at least 36 civilians near the cities, including children.
Najib Ghadbian is the special representative to the United States and the United Nations for the Syrian National Coalition. He told reporters at the UN this week that "the Russian claim that they are there to fight ISIS is...baseless."
Khaled Khodja, the head of the Syrian National Coalition, said the bombed areas were not controlled by terrorists. The Coalition urged the UN and world powers to stop what it called the Russian "aggression."
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter called the Russian airstrikes "ill-advised." He noted that the strikes took place where "the IS group is not present."
"This is not the kind of behavior that we should expect professionally from the Russian military."
Russia says the strikes hit Islamic State military equipment, command areas and vehicles.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the strikes were requested by President Assad. He said they will continue as long as the Syrian army is fighting terrorists.
The U.S. and Russia disagreed about how to deal with the civil war in Syria before the airstrikes began. The U.S. and many other countries believe the conflict will not end so long as Mr. Assad is in power. Russia believes he should be permitted to remain the leader of the country.
David Lesch is an expert on Syria at Trinity University in Texas. He told VOA that Russia may be using the airstrikes to force opposition groups to negotiate. He says the air strikes may make Mr. Assad stronger and eliminate his need to negotiate.
Obama administration spokesman Josh Earnest says "Russia will not succeed in imposing a military solution on Syria any more than the United States was successful in imposing a military solution on Iraq a decade ago, and certainly no more than Russia was able to impose a military solution on Afghanistan three decades ago."
Republicans in Congress say the Obama administration's Syria policy is weak. They say that is the reason Russia has taken such strong action. Senator John McCain says the administration's diplomatic and military efforts have failed.
"This administration has confused our friends, encouraged our enemies, mistaken an excess of caution for prudence and replaced the risks of action with the perils of inaction. Into the wreckage, into the wreckage of this administration's Middle East policy, has now stepped Vladimir Putin."
Some experts say Russia should be permitted to enter the conflict. They say Russia will fail, and become a weaker world power.
Russia moved aircraft and other military equipment into Syria for weeks before its warplanes bombed Homs and Hama. Some experts said that signaled that Russia supports President Assad.
Experts say the airstrikes may push neighboring countries like Turkey or Saudi Arabia to take force against Russian attempts to strengthen President Assad.
Chris Kozak studies Syria at the Institute for the Study of War.
"You may see these countries step up their own efforts on behalf of their preferred players in Syria in order to counteract what the Russians are doing."
Officials say warplanes from the US and other countries will continue to attack Islamic State militants in both Iraq and Syria.
This week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met to talk about ways to end the conflict in Syria. Mr. Lavrov said "we all want Syria democratic, united and secular. But we have some differences on the details on how to get there."
U.S. and Russian representatives have also said they want to talk about ways they can keep their militaries from clashing with each other in Syria.
I'm Christopher Jones-Cruise.
1.dispute vt.& vi.辩论，争论
He disputed the allegations...
The report notes that export and import volumes picked up in leading economies...
The President is also expected to request a rescheduling of loan repayments.
I disagree with Andrew Russell over his piece on British Rail.
Will they permit you to sit in on a few classes?
America wants to eliminate tariffs on items such as electronics.
I didn't want to impose myself on my married friends.
Britain has warned travellers to exercise prudence and care.
1.He said they will continue as long as the Syrian army is fighting terrorists.
as long as只要；如果
As long as I deliver the goods, my boss is very happy.
2.You may see these countries step up their own efforts on behalf of their preferred players in Syria in order to counteract what the Russians are doing.
on behalf of为了…的利益；代表…
They interceded with the authorities on behalf of the detainees.
He urged donors to step up their efforts to send aid to Somalia.
纳吉布·加德比安(Najib Ghadbian)是美国和联合国派驻叙利亚全国联盟特别代表。他本周在联合国告诉记者，“俄罗斯宣称他们在那里是为了打击伊斯兰国激进分子，这是毫无根据的 。”
叙利亚全国联盟负责人Khaled Khodja表示，被轰炸地区并不是由恐怖分子控制的。该联盟敦促联合国和世界大国制止俄罗斯的“侵略”行为 。
美国国防部长卡特(Ash Carter)称俄罗斯的空袭是“不明智的”。他指出，袭击发生在“没有伊斯兰国组织出没的地方” 。
在空袭开始之前，美国和俄罗斯就如何处理叙利亚内战存在分歧。美国和许多其他国家相信，只要阿萨德仍然是总统，这场冲突就不会结束 。俄罗斯认为他应该继续担任国家元首 。
David Lesch是德克萨斯三一大学叙利亚问题专家。他告诉VOA，俄罗斯或许是为了利用空袭强迫反对派谈判 。他表示，空袭或许会让阿萨德更加强势，使他没有谈判的必要 。
国会共和党人表示，奥巴马政府的叙利亚政策非常微弱。他们表示，这就是俄罗斯采取如此强势的行动的原因 。参议员麦凯恩表示，政府的外交和军事努力失败了 。
本周，美国国务卿约翰·克里和俄罗斯外长拉夫罗夫会晤，讨论终止叙利亚冲突的方法。拉夫罗夫表示，“我们都希望叙利亚实现民主，统一和稳定 。但是我们关于如何达成这个目标存在分歧 。”