A member of Russia’s parliament has accused President Obama of “bombing the Syrian desert” instead of hitting legitimate ISIS targets.
Alexei Pushkov lashed out against the Obama administration on Twitter, saying “(Senator John) McCain accused us of striking out at US-trained insurgents… However, since they have either run away or joined al-Qaeda, hitting them is a mission impossible“.
Pushkov evinced similar thoughts during an interview with France’s Europe 1 Radio, in which the Russian MP said, “The U.S.-led coalition spent a whole year pretending they were striking ISIL targets but where are the results of these strikes?”
Pushkov is the head of foreign affairs committee in the Russian Duma, the lower house of the country’s parliament, according to National Interest.
His questioning may not be that far off of the mark. According to figures compiled by the Council for Foreign Relations in a recent piece for Newsweek, American intervention in the crisis in the Middle East is hardly substantial.
The CFR calculated that 43 bombs per day were being dropped against the Islamic State group during the current campaign. If you think that’s substantial, consider the Iraq war, where 1,093 bombs a day were dropped in 2003.
And even that pales in comparison to the first Gulf War. During that period, coalition forces dropped 6,163 bombs per day on the enemy.
Even when American forces have Islamic State group terrorists in their sights, they aren’t necessarily allowed to fire, thanks to Obama administration engagement rules that handcuff American forces.
“There were times I had groups of ISIS fighters in my sights, but couldn’t get clearance to engage,” one F-18 pilot told reporters in May.
“They probably killed innocent people and spread evil because of my inability to kill them. It was frustrating.”
McCain has also complained that 75 percent of pilots returned to base without firing a weapon during the fight against the Islamic State group, according to Fox News.
Sounds like, sadly, Pushkov is far from wrong.