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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Russia conducts intense raids on Syria militants: Monitor

Iran Press TV

Wed Oct 7, 2015 9:41AM

Russia has conducted "intense" airstrikes against the militants in Syria as Syrian forces "for the first time" carry out coordinated ground attacks on positions being targeted by Russian warplanes, according to a monitoring group.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Russian warplanes bombarded at least four locations belonging to the militants in the central Syrian province of Hama, and three other locations in northwestern province of Idlib on Wednesday.

The UK-based group did not give any detail on the number of the possible casualties; it, however, said that the attacks in the early hours of Wednesday were "more intense than usual."

Russian airstrikes, Syrian ground attack coordination

It was also said that Syrian government forces on the ground attacked the positions of the terrorists being targeted by Russian fighter jets in Hama.

"For the first time the strikes were accompanied by fighting on the ground between regime forces and rebels," said the director of the UK-based group, Rami Abdel Rahman.

"There is no information yet of any (government) advances on the ground, but the air strikes have hit vehicles and insurgent bases," he said, adding, there was also heavy use of surface-to-surface shelling by the government in the province.

Moscow began its military campaign against terrorists in Syria on September 30 upon a request from the Damascus government, shortly after the upper house of the Russian parliament gave President Vladimir Putin the mandate to use military force in Syria.

Meanwhile, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said that Moscow could implement US proposals aiming to coordinate its strikes in Syria with the US-led coalition purporting to be also fighting Daesh.

"The Russian Defense Ministry has answered the demands of the Pentagon and is examining in depth American proposals on coordinating operations carried out... against the terrorist group Islamic State on Syrian territory," Igor Konashenkov said.

"On the whole, these proposals could be put in place," he added.

The comments by Konashenkov came about a week after defense officials from the US and Russia held a one-hour video teleconference to discuss ways to "deconflict" the Syrian airspace, or prevent unintended air incidents, including collisions. The two sides reportedly failed to reach an agreement and made no clear hint that such a consensus could emerge in the future.

US Army Defense Department spokeswoman Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza said Tuesday that Washington would not coordinate coalition activities in Syria with Russia as the Russians have ignored a "proposal" on the issue.



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