"The real question is whose side will they be on," a defense official was quoted as saying by The Washington Times, which suggested that Beijing will side with the Russian campaign against Daesh instead of joining forces with the US-led anti-Daesh coalition.
Daesh, a terrorist group, has seized vast areas in Iraq and Syria, becoming notorious for various human rights atrocities. The group has also claimed responsibility for a number of major terrorist acts, including the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris.
Daesh is known for its successful recruitment of young members from across the world through social networking websites and the spread of online propaganda.
A US-led international coalition has been launching airstrikes against Daesh targets in Syria and Iraq since September 2014, without the permission of Damascus or the United Nations. Russia started carrying out precision airstrikes against Daesh in Syria in September 2015, at the request of Assad.