The Independent is reporting:
Russia launches first air strikes in Syria, US says as non-Isis rebels claim they are being targetedThe Federation Council approved military intervention on Wednesday morning
30 September 2015
The US believes Russia has launched its first airstrikes in Syria just hours after the country’s Parliament approved Vladimir Putin’s request for military intervention.
No further information was given but activists in Homs and Hama provinces have posted images and video online claiming to show Russian planes bombing groups of non-Isis rebels who are fighting Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
The death toll could not be verified but dozens of fatalities were reported, including civilians, and footage showed injured children being treated in Talbiseh, a Free Syrian Army (FSA) stronghold.
Other footage appearing to show claiming to show the aftermath of airstrikes by Russian planes was posted online by the Homs Media Centre and the Hama branch of rebel alliance the Syrian Revolutionary Command Council.
The group conducted an interview with an FSA commander who claimed that Russian jets bombed his fighters in Hama using Su-24s.
The Syrian government had asked Russia for support in the country’s civil war before the Federation Council approved intervention on Wednesday.
A post on President Assad’s official Twitter account said he had invited Russian forces to fight “terrorism”, although the word is used by the regime to describe anyone opposing it, including non-Islamist rebels.
Meanwhile, the US and coalition aircraft were conducting air strikes in Syria and Iraq on Wednesday, although a spokesperson did not specify where.
Russia has already been providing weapons and training for Syrian regime forces, and navy transport vessels have been shuttling troops, weapons and supplies to an air base near the coastal city of Latakia for several week.
Satellite images released last week showed 28 jets, including Su-30 multirole fighters, Su-25 ground attack jets, Su-24 bombers and possibly Ka-52 helicopter gunships at the base.
Sergei Ivanov, chief of Putin's administration, said that the Federation Council voted unanimously in favour of military intervention but insisted Moscow is not sending ground troops to Syria.
He said it will only use its air force “in order to support the Syrian government forces in their fight against the Islamic State” group.
But areas reportedly hit by Russian planes today included Ltamenah and Tal Wasit, both in Hama governate, and Zaafrana, Homs.
All are held by the Free Syrian Army, secular rebels, or non-Isis Islamists including Jaysh al-Fath (the Army of Conquest).
In the Syrian civil war’s ever-changing web of alliances, the coalition, including Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar ash-Sham, sometimes co-operates with Free Syrian Army in its battles against Isis and government forces. More...
The BBC News has this report:
Syria crisis: Russian air strikes against Assad enemies
Russia has begun carrying out air strikes in Syria against opponents of President Bashar al-Assad
The strikes reportedly hit rebel-controlled areas of Homs and Hama provinces, causing casualties.
The US says it was informed an hour before they took place.
Russian defence officials say aircraft targeted the Islamic State group, but an unnamed US official told Reuters that so far they did not appear to be targeting IS-held territory. More...
#FSA is fighting #IS across #Syria #Russia bombs FSA & civilians saying they are #IS 'terrorists'- just like #Assad's policy for last 4yrs— FSA News (@FSATruth) September 30, 2015
Hey Syrians, please remain moderate and peaceful despite of facing every monster that exists on this planet! #Russia pic.twitter.com/Chr7On4e7Z— هديل عويسhadeeloueis (@hadeelOueiss) September 30, 2015
A few hours ago #Russia|n fighter jets launched their first air strike in #Syria. No words needed to describe this. pic.twitter.com/Fday5pLLqv— Sakir Khader (@sakirkhader) September 30, 2015
#Russia reveals the new definition of #ISIS: "Whoever we bomb will be called ISIS." https://t.co/5yi1F4PTh3— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) September 30, 2015
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