Russia Carries Out First Airstrikes on Syrian Rebels in Months
Russian warplanes struck rebel targets in northwestern Syria Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the first such attacks since March, when Russia and Turkey negotiated a truce. Ankara supports anti-Assad forces in the area, while Moscow backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, the airstrikes targeted some of the last areas that rebels continue to hold in their civil war against Assad, now in its tenth year. The monitor group said the rebel positions were just south of Idlib Province, which bore the brunt of a major government offensive launched in December. The offensive killed hundreds of people, a large proportion of them civilians, and added an estimated 1 million others to the millions who had already fled, although many returned after Russia and Turkey reached their cease-fire. There was no immediate word of casualties from the airstrikes.