Backed By Russian Airstrikes Syrian Troops Launch Ground Offensive

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Syrian troops

Syrian troops have launched a major ground offensive in Central Syria backed by Russian airstrikes.

Russia also strikes ISIS from warships in the Caspian Sea for first time

The Defense Ministry have published a video (below) of its warships firing cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea to hit the positions of Islamic State militants in Syria.

The Guardian reports:

Russian warships fired missiles into Syria from the Caspian Sea – more than 900 miles away – for the first time. Defence minister Sergei Shoigu said four warships launched 26 rockets at Islamic State targets.

Syrian activists said Russian fighter jets bombed a series of towns held by the opposition in Hama’s countryside in concert with a push by regime troops and armoured vehicles and the deployment of Russian helicopters, in what was described as the fiercest combat in months.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a monitoring group with wide contacts inside Syria, said Russian fighter jets also bombed targets in the province of Idlib, most of which is held by a coalition of rebels known as Jaysh al-Fateh, which includes the al-Qaida wing in Syria.

The Syrian push on the ground is the first time Assad’s forces have coordinated with the Russian airforce in an attempt to seize lost territory from opposition forces, ushering in some of the fiercest fighting in months in the civil war, which has now lasted four and a half years and killed over a quarter of a million people.

Niamh Harris
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