Russia carries out first strikes in Syria’s south
The Syrian Observatory had no immediate details on casualties or damage in the strikes
Russia appears to have carried out strikes in southern Syria's Daraa province for the first time in an apparent expansion of its aerial campaign, a monitor said on Thursday.
“Warplanes that are believed to be Russian carried out strikes on the Hara, Tal Antar, Kafr Nasaj and Aqraba areas of northern Daraa” last night, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor.
“This would be the first time that Russian planes have carried out strikes in Daraa,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
The Britain-based monitor had no immediate details on casualties or damage in the strikes.
The area targeted is controlled by an array of opposition groups including moderate and Islamist rebels and the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front.
There have been clashes there between opposition and regime forces, but the province has not seen the kind of large-scale ground operation launched by government forces in coordination with Russian strikes elsewhere in the country since Moscow's air campaign began on September 30.
Also on Thursday, it was reported that nearly 600 people have been killed in Russian air strikes in Syria less than a month since the beginning of Moscow's campaign.
A total of 595 people have been killed in Russian strikes since September 30, two-thirds of them fighters with opposition forces including militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The other third, some 185 people, were civilians, including 48 children, the Britain-based monitor said.
Russia has carried out strikes throughout Syria, with only four of the country's 14 provinces untouched by the aerial campaign since it began, according to the group.
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