Monday, October 26, 2015


MOSCOW: Russian jets struck 94 targets in war-torn Syria over the past 24 hours, the highest one-day tally since the Kremlin began its month-old bombing campaign, the Russian defence ministry said Monday.
“In 59 sorties in the past 24 hours, Russia’s air force hit 94 terrorist targets in the provinces of Hama, Idlib, Latakia, Damascus, Aleppo and Deir Ezzor,” the defence ministry said in a statement.
Moscow says the bombing campaign that began on September 30 targets Islamic State jihadists and other “terrorists,” but the West claims the strikes have focused on moderate rebels fighting Russian-backed President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said last week that Russia air strikes had killed at least 446 people, more than a third of them civilians.
The Kremlin on Monday insisted Russian forces had been carefully avoiding residential areas.
“Our military officers have said many times that terrorists […] often hide in residential areas,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti state news agency.
“In this case [the military] makes a choice not to hit residential neighbourhoods.”
On Monday, defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov dismissed a claim by the Syrian-American Medical Society that the Russian strikes had hit medical facilities, killing civilians and medical personnel.
“The true purpose of these organisations is to create unsourced information for designated media outlets to pick up,” Konashenkov said in comments broadcast on state television. – AFP


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