Civilian death toll rises following Russian military strikes in Syria Thursday; Dozens injured and 30 reported civilian deaths; Russia denies reports of 7 aircrafts destroyed in rebel attack.
Russian airstrikes on the rebel stronghold of Ghouta outside of Damascus killed at least 30 civilians and wounded dozens on Thursday.
According to media reports, 20 were killed during Russian airstrikes on the town of Misraba, and at least 10 during Russian strikes on Arbin. There were also numerous civilian deaths from Syrian army strikes.
The Syrian Army reported on Wednesday that it had re-established control over 6 settlements from the Nusra Front in the northeast of the Hama province, as Assad regime continues to fight remaining rebel forces in Syria.
The Russian strikes followed the destruction of 7 Russian warplanes by rebel forces during an attack on the Hmeymim airbase near Latakia. The newspaper Kommersant confirmed that a 72- transport plane, four Su-24 bombers and two Su-35S fighters had been destroyed.
The Russian Defense Ministry denied the reports, responding Thursday, “The Kommersant report on alleged “actual destruction” of seven Russian war planes at Hmeymim air base is fake.”
On December 11, 2017, President Vladimir Putin claimed that Russia was ending its military campaign in Syria, ordering Russian troops to begin pulling out. He stated on Russia’s military efforts in Syria since September of 2015, “The task of fighting armed bandits here in Syria, a task that it was essential to solve with the help of extensive use of armed force, has for the most part been solved and solved spectacularly,” warning “If the terrorists raise their heads again Russia will “carry out such strikes on them which they have never seen”.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons, 2017.