Syria: Russian forces strike anti-Assad rebels

Russian forces

Russian forces carried out airstrikes on two bases held by anti-Assad rebels in Syria on March 7th, according to Reuters.

A senior Russian official tasked with finding a settlement to the Syrian conflict, Rear Admiral Vadim Kulit, claimed that the strikes killed 20 anti-government militants in Idlib province.

Kulit said the attacks destroyed “two sites serving as bases for fighters taking part in the shelling of Syrian government forces. More than 20 terrorists were liquidated.”

He added that one Syrian regime soldier had also been killed when his unit came under fire from opposition fighters, in Latakia province the same day.

Russian forces have been deployed in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria for over a decade.

In 2011, a wave of popular protest known as the Arab Spring rocked the Middle East and North Africa. In Syria, the uprising ignited a civil war comprised of myriad factions, backed by opposing foreign powers.

Violence in Syria has been re-escalating in recent months as Israel and the US have targeted Iran-backed militants in the country, and as Islamic State (IS) and other opposition militias have increased their activities.

READ: Israel strikes Iranian militia base in Damascus

On March 6th, AP reported that an IS cell killed 18 civilians in eastern Syria’s Deir ez-Zor, with dozens more injured and missing. The attack was the largest carried out by an IS-affiliated group in the country, in over a year.

Reuters / AP

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