Russia to support Syria ground operations: Putin


MOSCOW: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says the country’s Air Force, which has been bombing the positions of the militants in Syria, will support Syrian government forces fighting on the ground.
Russian efforts “will be synchronized with the actions of the Syrian army on the ground and the actions of our air force will effectively support the offensive operation of the Syrian army,” Putin said in televised comments on Wednesday.
The Russian remarks came as earlier in the day the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Syrian government forces on the ground attacked the positions of the terrorists being targeted by Russian fighter jets in the Syrian province of 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.
Russia hits 112 targets in Syria
Meanwhile Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russian forces have struck 112 targets in war-torn Syria since launching a bombing campaign against the militants in the Arab country last week.
“Strikes have hit 112 targets from September 30 until today,” the Russian defense minister said in televised comments, adding, “The intensity of the strikes is increasing.”
Russia warships join campaign in Syria from the Caspian Sea
Shoigu went on to say that Russian warships have joined the battle against the Daesh Takfiri group, adding that on Wednesday four warship carried out 26 cruise missile strikes against 11 targets belonging to the terrorist group in Syria.
“According to objective control data, all the targets were destroyed. No civilian objects sustained damage,” Shoigu added.
“In addition to the air force, four warships of the Caspian flotilla have been involved,” the Russian defense minister added.
The UK-based observatory had already noted 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.
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 Putin the mandate to use military force in Syria.

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