Backed Forces in Syria Say Russians Attacked Their Position

Russian Federation in turn said its forces were targeted twice from SDF-held territory.

Speaking from the Hemeimeem air base in the Syrian province of Latakia, Lapin said Syrian government troops made significant advances over the past month, bringing them closer to ending the "Islamic State" (IS) militant group's presence in the country.

The group claimed that one of its fighters was killed and two others were wounded when a Russian airstrike targeted the Conoco gas field in Deir Ezzor, only two days after it was captured from the so-called Islamic State (ISIS).

This is the second time that the SDF has accused Russian warplanes of striking its forces in Deir Ezzor, where Moscow is backing pro-government forces in their separate campaign against militants in the area. The TV reporter said the town, which links the militant group's two strongholds now under attack, served as a key station for IS oil transport and distribution. The Syrian forces' operation on liberating the occupied parts of the city from the militants is now underway.

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The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 40 insurgents were killed in airstrikes Saturday on a village in northern Idlib.

Elsewhere, warplanes continued Sunday to pound Syria's rural Idlib and Hama, where insurgents led by an al-Qaida-linked group began an offensive against government troops in the area. The Faylaq Al-Sham group is an example of the confusing pairing of enemies and enemies of enemies that typify the fighting in the Syrian civil war. The indirect surface-to-surface fire, he said, was believed to have come from either Syrian or Russian forces.

In September 2015, Russian Federation launched an aerial campaign targeting the militant group, although analysts have viewed it as a ploy to bolster Assad's grip on power.

Major-General Igor Konashenkov of the Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement that the Russian and Syrian air forces did not bomb residential areas and accused the observatory of making up allegations and of sympathising with radical Islamist militants.


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