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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Russian warplanes attack Free Syrian Army & kills civilians

Amy Goodman failed to even mention Russian airstrikes on Syria in Democracy Now's "The War and Peace Report" today, so I am trying to pull together what I have found this morning before I have to report in to work. This is a dramatic new development in the Syrian conflict that is likely to lead to even greater lost of Syrian lives and more people being forced to flee their country just to save themselves.

The Independent is reporting:
Russia launches first air strikes in Syria, US says as non-Isis rebels claim they are being targeted
The Federation Council approved military intervention on Wednesday morning

Lizzie Dearden
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...
Russian warplanes targeted neighborhoods in Talbiseh with HE bombs | 30 Sept 2015

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...
Talbiseh people recovered the dead and the wounded from the rubble | 30 Sept 2015

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

1 comment:

  1. Note that Russia has also reportedly bombed as far south as Daraa:

    Russian Air strike has hit FSA division 24 HQs in Aqraba town in Daraa province.

    Daraa : FSA commander Rateb al Hameed has been killed by Russian air strike today