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VOA English Newscast: 2000 UTC September 30, 2015

Smoke rises after airstrikes by military jets in Talbiseh, a city in western Syria’s Homs province, where Russia launched airstrikes for the first time, Sept. 30, 2015. The image was made from video provided by Homs Media Center and authenticated by AP.
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From Washington, this is VOA News.

I’m Michael Lipin reporting.

The U.S. Defense Chief criticizes Russian airstrikes in Syria. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter made the criticism Wednesday in a news conference.

He said the Kremlin’s decision to conduct airstrikes at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad is “tantamount to pouring gasoline on the fire.”

Carter stopped short of confirming that Russian warplanes had targeted anti-Assad opposition forces in a strike on the western Syrian city of Homs.

But Carter said Homs is not known to be an operating ground for Islamic State militants - the stated target of Russia's new air campaign in Syria, which began Wednesday.

Earlier, the head of Russia's Presidential Administration, Sergei Ivanov, said on Russian state television that Moscow launched the campaign at the request of Assad.

He said, "I want to inform you that [the] President of the Syrian Arab Republic addressed the leadership of our country with a request for military assistance. So we can state that it is necessary to fight terrorism and that international efforts should be united. But complying with the norms of international law is preferable."

Afghanistan seeks to recapture Kunduz

The U.S. military says coalition forces in Afghanistan have engaged Taliban fighters in a battle to recapture the key northern city of Kunduz, which the militant group seized this week.

A U.S. Army spokesman told VOA that the battle happened early Wednesday near Kunduz City Airport as coalition advisors, including U.S. service members, were helping Afghan security forces to fight the Taliban.

The spokesman said U.S. warplanes carried out an airstrike to eliminate a Taliban threat on Wednesday.

This is VOA.


Words in This Newscast

conduct – v. to carry out; to plan and do

tantamount – adj. equal to something in value or meaning

gasoline – n. a liquid made from petroleum and used as a fuel for engines

address(ed) – v. to speak to someone or a group of people

complying – v. doing what you have been asked to do or ordered

norms – n. rules of acceptable behavior

preferable – adj. better or more desirable

engaged – adj. busy with some activity

eliminate – v. to remove or defeat something