U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter says Russia is pursuing a "losing strategy" in Syria.
Carter said on October 5 in Madrid that "Russia has escalated the civil war" in Syria and that he hopes Russian President Vladimir Putin "will decide to confront the threat presented by [the Islamic State] instead of continuing its unilateral air strikes against [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad's opposition."
Russia began its air campaign in Syria on September 30, claiming to hit Islamic State fighters and their military assets every day.
But the United States and several other countries and international monitors have said Russian jets are targeting other rebel groups to help stabilize Assad's government.
Carter is on a five-day trip to Europe for talks with allies in the U.S.-led multinational coalition that is carrying out drone and jet fighter strikes against IS fighters in Iraq and Syria.