Russian warplanes strike more targets in Syria
Russian military jets carried out airstrikes on nine Islamic State (IS) sites in Syria over the past 24 hours, the Defence Ministry in Moscow said Monday.
The Russian warplanes hit IS command centres, weapon caches, artillery and communication posts in the Homs, Idlib and Latakia provinces of Syria, the ministry said in a statement.
"25 sorties were completed by Su-34, Su-24 and Su-25 jets from the airbase in Hmeimim (Basil al-Assad airbase). Nine IS facilities were struck," the statement said.
In the northwestern Idlib province, the Russian military said it had destroyed a training camp near the city of Jisr al-Shughur, artillery positions near Jabal al-Qobeh and armoured vehicles.
A command centre in the coastal region of Latakia was also hit, while in the Homs province a command centre near the town of Rastan was struck, along with two ammunition depots and a communication centre, Moscow said.
Last Wednesday, Russia launched airstrikes in Syria and says it is hitting targets connected to IS fighter in the war-torn country.
The US and its allies have accused Russia of seeking to buttress its long-standing ally President Bashar al-Assad under cover of a claimed assault on the IS.
However, many of the targets Russian warplanes have hit have not been directly linked to the IS, and many strikes appear to have targeted other opposition groups fighting against the Syrian regime.
Talking to the FSA?
Meanwhile, speaking after a press conference in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia was ready for contact with the Free Syrian Army, RT reported.
"We will be ready to establish contact with it if it's really a capable military group of patriotic opposition consisting of Syrians... But this structure is already a phantom," Lavrov said.
"So far no one has told us where and how this Free Syrian Army operates or where and how other units of the so-called moderate opposition operate."
Lavrov added that Russia had asked the US for details on the armed opposition grouping, RT reported.