Politics

Russia to continue Syrian airstrikes during plane crash probe

!--StartFragment-->Russia will continue its offensive airstrikes in Syria regardless of what investigators determine to be the cause of the Sinai Peninsula plane crash, which may have been caused by a bomb planted by the Islamic State.

President Vladimir Putin's chief of staff, Sergei Ivanov, said Moscow officials will need a minimum of several months to determine if the Oct. 31 Metrojet crash was an act of terrorism. But he said Russia will not alter its current military strategy in the meantime.

"The course of the operation against terrorists in Syria doesn't depend on the investigation into the crash reason," Ivanov said during a visit to Finland Tuesday.

Following the incident, members of the Islamic State reportedly claimed responsibility for the crash and called it payback for Russian attacks on the group. While British and American officials, including President Obama, have said the downing of the plane may have been due to a bomb onboard, Russian and Egyptian authorities have been cautious to pinpoint a specific cause until more research has been collected.