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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Russia jets conduct anti-terror airstrikes in Syria's al-Bab: Dogan

Iran Press TV

Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:1PM

For the first time since launching its anti-terror aerial campaign in Syria, Russian warplanes have reportedly hit Daesh targets around the city of al-Bab, where Turkey and its allied militants are allegedly fighting the terrorist group.

On Thursday, Turkey's Dogan news agency quoted military sources as saying that the Russian air raids took place on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the "strikes suspected to be Russian" had been hitting al-Bab for the last two days "in support of the Turkish operation."

However, there was no official confirmation of the strikes.

Moscow launched its campaign against Daesh and other terror outfits in Syria at the Damascus government's request in September 2015. Wednesday's air raids were the first such strikes targeting al-Bab.

Turkey also began a major military intervention in Syria in August, sending tanks and warplanes across the border, in a move denounced by Damascus as a breach of its sovereignty.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the operation, dubbed "Euphrates Shield," was aimed at "terror groups" such as Daesh and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a US-backed Kurdish group based in Syria.

However, the Turkish offensive has left a large number of civilian fatalities in al-Bab and elsewhere in Syria, without scoring any major victory against Daesh terrorists.

Ankara and Moscow have long been at odds over the conflict in Syria, where Russia supports the government of President Bashar al-Assad and Turkey backs anti-Damascus militants.

Russian embassy under fresh attack

In another development, the Russian embassy in Damascus was hit by mortar shell, the third such assault since Wednesday. No casualties were reported due to the attack.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slammed the shelling as a provocation aimed at derailing the latest diplomatic process on the conflict in Syria.

Moscow and Ankara have recently brokered a nationwide truce deal between Damascus and the foreign-backed opposition. The deal, which will take effect at midnight, excludes the Takfiri Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terror groups and their affiliates.

Syrian army makes gains

In another development on Thursday, the Syrian army managed to advance on the village of Hazrama in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta.

Syrian forces killed and wounded several Takfiri militants with Jaysh al-Islam, which is in control of the village.

Elsewhere in Dara'a province, the Syrian troops killed a number of terrorist ringleaders and downed a radio-controlled airplane operated by Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militant group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front.

Another Syrian army unit also destroyed a vehicle belonging to Daesh terrorists in the suburbs of the Qaryatayn town in Homs Province, leaving six terrorists dead.

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