Sukhoi SU-35 fighter jet at Paris Air Show 2013 REUTERS
Sukhoi SU-35 fighter jet at Paris Air Show 2013 REUTERSReuters File

Within hours after getting permission from its Parliament - the Federation Council, Russia reportedly carried out its first airstrikes in Syria against rebels on Wednesday. However, a Syrian journalist claimed that 32 civilians, not militants were killed in the Russian bombing.

As per confirmed reports from Syria, Russian SU 24 carried out airstrikes on rebel-controlled, Hama area on Wednesday afternoon, Kurdish news channel Slemani Times reported.

At least two SU 24 fighter jets were involved in the attack on the target rebel positions in Hama, located 213 km north of Damascus and 46 kilometres north of Homs.

Al Nusra militants are the main targets of the attacks, reports said.  A US official confirmed to BBC that Russia has launched its first airstrikes in Syria. There also has been reports that groups opposed tp the Assad regime such as FSA were the main targets.

Local news websites citing rebel sources said that the airstrikes were carried out in Al-Lataminah village. Russian defence ministry later in the day said that airstrikes were targeting military equipment, communications and arms depots belonging to rebels, according to Interfax.

A Syrian journalist, Ibrahim Aladalba reportedly told sources that no militants were killed. At least 32 civilians lost their lives, Aladalba said.

The airstrike came hours after the Russian Parliament on Monday morning in a closed-door meeting approved Putin's request to engage its air force. Parliament granted Vladimir Putin permission to use the Russian air force to carry out bombing raids in Syria, The Guardian reported.

Earlier this week, six more jets, part of Russia's lethal SU-35 fighter squadron, arrived in Syria. As per multiple reports, at least 48 Russian fighter jets and attack helicopters are already in Syria.  

Kremlin that has for long remained a strong ally of the Syria regime under president Bashar al-Assad, besides helping the country with military aid, is also building a massive military base in Latakia.

Even as Putin told UN in New York that Russia would not carry out ground operations in Syria,  The Telegraph reported last week that at least 500 Russian troops are already in the city of Latakia and the adjacent port of Tartous on Syria's Mediterranean coast.


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