Russian air strikes in Syria have killed 45 people including a rebel commander in Latakia province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported today.

They identified the rebel commander as chief of staff of the First Coastal Division group, a foreign-backed insurgent faction fighting under the banner of the “Free Syrian Army”.

At the start of the month, Russian sorties increased significantly up to over 60 sorties a day, a tempo they reportedly maintained for the next 2 days. Russia also announced last week that up to sixty Islamic State targets were hit, killing 300 militants in the most intense strikes of the multi-national intervention so far.

Prior to their military intervention, Russian involvement in the Syrian Civil War had mainly consisted of supplying the Syrian Army. Russia intervened after a formal request from the Syrian government for military help against rebel and jihadist groups in Syria. Officials have acknowledged their objective is to help the Syrian government retake territory, including from opposition fighters backed by the United States. Their intervention could last a year or more, according to reports.

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Colin Leatham

Don’t piss off the russians.

Max Baker

Russia gets it done

Andrew Perrin

russians after the rebels not isis there pretex to help assad to keep power and helping the iraniens keep there terrorists in there as well more cold war polotics

Assad Riaz

Can you define Rebels ?

Andrew Perrin

there the ones the arabs and the west are backing not isis the terrorits and assad th butcher should e done for war crmes killing his own people

Michael Higgins

Andrew at least putin is conducting legitimate airstrikes and not violating syrian sovereignty! Could y

John Seddon

US and UK need to shoot down all Syrian and Russian military aircraft; and declare no fly zone; Putin is incompetent rogue.

Monirul Hasan

“US led airstrikes killed 52 syrian civilians in a day, not 1 ISIS fighter” what a pathetic news